Bonecrushing Demos & Rehearsals '84-'85
(High Roller Records)

Have you ever wondered how things started with your favorite bands? How they reached the status they have now? Or are just curious of owning a piece of Metal history? Then it’s time to get these demos of German titans KREATOR to find out how it all started. As some of you know, they started with the (back then) original name of TORMENTOR, with an obviously amateurish logo design and a raw, crude and totally amateurish recording and performance, captured with a regular tape recorder, most likely in the middle of a smelly rehearsal site, and with instruments of minimum quality, yet with a lot of passion. The first demo was baptized (in fire) “Blitzkrieg” and of corpse a bad pencil drawing has to be the cover art, most likely done by the band in a drunken night (probably at that same rehearsal room, or at the school those teenagers were attending). What we have here are four songs, trying to emulate their heroes VENOM, METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST and most probably some Punk and other NWOBHM. At the end of the day, this is just basically Heavy Metal (or Thrash Metal) history and it shows. The vocals by the way are done by drummer Ventor, and he tries and fails miserably to do some high pitched screams, something that slowly changed trough the years and right now he basically drums and nothing else. But back to the demo, this was obviously nothing to rave about, and will hardly get any deal as this is way too amateurish and without identity. But then again, in that also resides the beauty of it. You see, those demos, especially the rehearsal ones, were done with the intention of listening more than what the ear catches. And if you are able to go that way, you can without a doubt listen to potential. Still, that needed to be developed and that is something that happened with their next demo. “End Of The World” was recorded the same year, but at least six months later, and it shows a big improvement. Well, just musically speaking as they had this horrible / beautiful logo and kindergarten type cover art again, but now they recorded in a more proper studio (or at least they used more than one microphone to do it) thus it is sounding better. The vocal duties are now shared with guitar player Mille, and the songs have changed from the strong traditional Heavy Metal sound to a more extreme sound, which might be in part due to their still inability to play correctly and covering their musical deficiencies, but at the the same time they were developing a style that will please a new generation of Heavy Metal fans, which were looking for heavier and faster sounds. Again, even with the improvements heard here, it would be a very risky movement to sign a band like that. So it was Noise Records that stepped in signing the band, but first a change of the name had to be done. Although the reason for the name change can be discussed, in the end they came with a quite original concept renaming themselves as KREATOR (originally still spelled CREATOR – you’ll even find the rather poor looking logo of that in the booklet – Frank). Now, with a really killer new logo, they recorded a few rehearsals, just prior to entering the studio, and it showed what a few more months of intense rehearsing can do for a band. By now, the two aforementioned members, plus bassist Rob, showcased in these raw rehearsal recordings, that they were on the road to become one of the greatest Thrash bands ever. From here on, it is no secret that the vocals will be shared by the drummer and guitar player half and half. Obviously most of you are familiar with the album versions, but there is some special charm in listening to these rawer versions of a band hungry to conquer the world. I was listening to some of these versions more than once without noticing that I was singing along the lines of the classics like when I was a teenager. I remember how many times I drew their logo on my high school notebooks, or on the recorded tape covers, and I still miss Ventor’s vocals. Yes, they are without a doubt one of the pillars of Thrash (no matter if there’s been some weaker albums here and there or a few of their last albums are sounding the same) and for any follower of the band, this is just pure gold as an historical document. The presentation is fantastic, with a big booklet with many notes, pictures and a somewhat remastered sound (although to be honest, it just makes it a little bit better sounding, as the original tapes can hardly offer something more). Vinyl versions are available as well, but the CD version comes with an additional slipcase, two booklets (8 pages and 24 pages) and even a DVD (not included in the German edition – Frank) for nostalgia level gods (of Thrash)!,

Julián “Cry War” Núñez

Julián "Cry War" Núñez

Related reviews / interviews:
TORMENTOR - Hybrid Race (Julián Núñez)
KREATOR - Cause For Conflict (Julián “Men Without God” Núñez)
KREATOR - Renewal (Thomas Meyer)
KREATOR - Coma Of Souls (Rick Peart)
KREATOR - Outcast (Miguel Negrón)
KREATOR - Endless Pain (Thomas Reitmayer)
KREATOR - Pleasure To Kill (Jaime Pérez)
KREATOR - Terrible Certainty (Thomas Meyer)
KREATOR - Extreme Aggression (Ricardo Campos)
KREATOR - Enemy Of God (Ralf Hauber)
KREATOR - Phantom Antichrist (Thomas Meyer)
KREATOR - Past Life Trauma / Terrible Certainty /... (Frank Stöver)
KREATOR - Violent Revolution (Frank Stöver)
KREATOR - Interview (Steven Willems)

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