By Desmond Osorio
By 1986, everyone – at least those with a penchant for fast, loud, and pounding metal – knew that Thrash music was sweeping America. The major bands of this time, those that would be known to history as The Big Four – Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, were taking over the world through touring and underground tape trading. It would be this underground tape trading movement that would bring to prominence one of Europe’s most prodigious and resilient bands of our time: Kreator.
In Europe, specifically Germany, there was a growing metal scene that was being fed by overseas tape trading of American thrash bands – bands like Overkill, Exodus, Testament, and “The Big Four,” along with European bands like Mercyful Fate (Denmark), Celtic Frost, and Coroner (the latter two from Switzerland). In this growing maelstrom, Germany gave birth to three bands: Destruction, Sodom, and Kreator. 1985 saw Kreator’s first foray into the scene with the surprisingly catchy Endless Pain (Noise Records, 1985). Black Metal bands of today cite Endless Pain as a heavy influence on their music when employing Thrash Metal qualities into their music.*
The year 1986, however, would prove to be a different year entirely with the release of Pleasure To Kill.
Within one year Kreator had refined their sound – which was a cleaner tone on the guitars, while still maintaining the grind and crunch they were to become famous for. They were the first band to fully embrace the half-time breakdown** – a rhythmic technique in which the music is played twice as fast; something now overused in today’s brand of metal. Also, major vocalist and guitarist Mille Petrozza gave the whole German metal scene its trademark: the screaming throaty vocal. As well, drummer JÃ¼rgen Reil aka “Ventor” lent his vocals to three songs on the album! Speaking as a drummer myself, it is difficult enough to maintain rhythmic time in a song that’s blasting away at 130-plus beats per minute, let alone sing as well. It was easy to see “Ventor” as a drum hero.
Pleasure To Kill as a record that offered Metal fans an onslaught of pounding rhythms and scorching leads by guitarists Mille Petrozza and JÃ¶rg Trzebiatowski. Songs like “Ripping Corpse,” “Death Is Your Saviour,” “Pleasure To Kill,” and “Riot of Violence” were fast, pounding, and catchy. Pleasure To Kill was an instant classic; able to stand alongside the offerings of the major American bands. The second wave of Thrash Metal which occurred during the late 1980s with bands like Sepultura, Pantera, and Fear Factory – along with the burgeoning Death Metal scene in Florida (Obituary, Morbid Angel, Deicide, and Cannibal Corpse) – have all cited Kreator’s Pleasure To Kill as a strong influence on their work.
As a fan of Kreator, Pleasure To Kill is one of my favorite albums. It has a magic to it that is indescribable. The rhythms are infectious and make you want to move, to smash things, to utterly pull your hair out! Playing the album with friends over the years has led to violent, fumbling, yet fun as Hell mosh pits, where someone eventually takes a shot in the face and we all hangout, embracing each other and headbanging with smiles on our faces. It is unreal how a few basic chords and some speed can produce such power that 25 years later the album sounds as fresh and new as the day it was released.
Kreator still produce albums and still tour, bringing their brand of German Thrash to all the world. While they may produce new material that smokes to high Heaven, they cannot leave the stage without performing songs from the Pleasure To Kill album, which proves that something special will withstand the tests of time.
Mille Petrozza – guitar, vocals in “Ripping Corpse,” “Pleasure to Kill,” “The Pestilence,” “Carrion,” and “Under the Guillotine”
JÃ¼rgen Reil – drums, vocals in “Death Is Your Saviour,” “Riot of Violence,” and “Command of the Blade”
JÃ¶rg Trzebiatowski – guitar
Rob Fioretti – bass guitar
1. Intro (Choir Of The Damned)
2. Ripping Corpse
3. Death Of Your Saviour
4. Pleasure To Kill
5. Riot Of Violence
6. The Pestilence
8. Command Of The Blade
9. Under The Guillotine
10. Flag Of Hate
11. Take Their Lives
12. Awakening Of The Gods
*No Life “˜til Metal via Wikipedia.org
**Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal DVD, 2008 Saigon1515, Lightyear Entertainment
Friend Of Doom Desmond Osorio is a dear childhood friend and lover of all things geek who passed away today after a long battle with a painful chronic illness he’s suffered from his whole life. Knowing how much he loved Kreator’s 1986 album Pleasure To Kill, I asked Desmond to make a guest contribution last year to Geeks Of Doom’s Albums Of 1986 feature. While he only touched upon his love for the album with a small paragraph for our feature, we wanted to honor Desmond by running the full piece he originally wrote about the album. As you can see, he ended his article by stating that “…something special will withstand the tests of time,” a fitting statement for someone as special as him who touched the lives of so many people and will stand the tests of time in the hearts and minds of all who knew him. Desmond was a great musician and also a great lover of music, always enjoying a show when he could, always banging his head and moshing his way through a crowd, regardless of the painful consequences. He was a wonderful, brave, strong, talented, funny, sensitive man who was taken long before his time. He was a true warrior and a gem of a person and I am better for having known him. He will be missed and remembered always. Rest in peace, my friend, Desmond, forever sleep.
“I’m not in pain. Any pain that I feel is temporary. Nothing can touch me. This is happening to someone else. I just observe it as I pass.” -Karen Traviss, Star Wars: Imperial Commando:501st