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Kreator
At the Pulse of Kapitulation

Company: SPV
Release: 2008
Reviewer: Vinaya
Genre: Thrash

  • The whole thing eventually becomes one long, brutal blur



  • Man, if Metallica's music has been used as a means of torturing captured terrorists, then U.S. intelligence personnel have a ferocious new weapon at their disposal, should they choose to pick up this DVD and CD package. Because really, this German-created instrument of brutality features fifteen live selections (if you count the drum solo!) sure to be banned under the Geneva Conventions.

    And man, after sitting through this DVD reissue of a 1990 Kreator show in East Berlin, plus the "director's cut" of their 1991 horror movie "Hallucinative Comas," I am feeling as though I have just narrowly escaped some sort of war zone. With over two hours of relentlessly brutal thrash metal history on display, At the Pulse of Kapitulation is an audio and visual assault on the senses that will be hard to swallow if it is your first real exposure to Kreator, as it was for me. Hearing a handful of studio versions of their songs, as I did, is not sufficient preparation for the continuous display of sonic brutality found here.

    The live show presented on the DVD and accompanying CD shows an established, but still remarkably young Kreator, appearing stoic and unsmiling as they unleash one lethal salvo of "Extreme Aggression" after another, the whole thing eventually becoming one long, brutal blur. Frontman/ guitarist Mille Petrozza's harsh, raspy, unmelodic vocals and seemingly endless supply of jarring riffs lead the charge into hardcore headbanger's heaven, backed by the tireless--and for some, tiring--attack of his bandmates. I honestly can't understand most of what Petrozza says between songs, as it is in German, but the accompanying documentary "The Past and Now" sheds some light on the significance of this gig. Apparently staged shortly after the toppling of the Berlin Wall, the East Berlin set (part of a multi-band extreme metal package) was no small event for East German metal fans, who had apparently never had the opportunity to see such a show on their soil until then, and had considerable difficulty even acquiring metal albums and t-shirts, resulting in a large black market for even single pages of magazines. Kreator's gig there, it seems, was an early taste of freedom for the local metal scene, and some of those who were there share fond memories of it in the documentary. (Note is made of the show's organizers recruiting fans as security and attempting to keep members of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany's Free German Youth movement out.)

    The final component here is "Hallucinative Comas," a mysterious and fairly disturbing short horror movie of sorts depicting a doctor's increasingly creepy study of violence, which ultimately leads him to a grisly, messed up end. This doubles as music video content for some cuts from the band's 1990 release Coma of Souls. And while these tracks are still quite aggressive, they show noticeable growth from the violent earlier cuts found in the live show, such as "Flag of Hate" and "Under the Guillotine." Personally, I like my thrash a little more varied and refined than what Kreator dish out here, but those who can do without "Ride the Lightning"-style niceties such as delicate acoustic guitar and fluid, neoclassical guitar melodies will no doubt love this. I've heard some griping about the lack of umpteen camera angles on the live stuff, but really, one has to remember that this is a 1990 performance in a locale where political conditions had not been very favorable to thrash metal until then. So consider this a treat for the diehards and a somewhat noteworthy historic curio--of a truly brutal nature.


    About this Writer:
    Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: KREATOR
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    At the Pulse of KapitulationKreator
    2008
    Vinaya Saksena11/20/2008
    Gods of ViolenceKreator
    2017
    Eric Compton3/23/2017
    Hordes of ChaosKreator
    2009
    Raising Iron2/20/2009
    Phantom AntichristKreator
    2012
    Greg Watson6/20/2012


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: KREATOR

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: KREATOR
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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