Kreator - Endless Pain
Noise Records
Thrash Metal
10 songs (38:40)
Release year: 1985
Kreator, Noise Records
Reviewed by Crims
Archive review

Kreator is a band that’s been around since the early 80’s originally going under the name Tormentor. As many of you know they have an extensive catalogue, remaining consistently active throughout the 80’s, 90’s, and beyond. Many of these releases are landmarks in the Thrash Metal field and while Endless Pain isn’t their strongest, it was their first. Endless Pain still contains many Kreator classics and helped usher in a more aggressive form of Thrash Metal that helped pave the way for Black and Death Metal.

There are a couple of things to consider when listening to Endless Pain. First of all is the fact that every band member was around 18 when this was recorded. They also only had two demos under their belt and they went into the studio with six songs, and ended up recording 10. With that in mind you also have to look at the Thrash scene at the time. With few exceptions almost every major Thrash player in the United States had at least one full-length under their belt. Kreator had a full palette of Thrash influences to draw on from, not to mention bands like Venom and Celtic Frost. Kreator decided to take the more aggressive and fast approach of Slayer but with more of a Celtic Frost/Venom influence. That doesn’t mean that Kreator songs were without structure because that’s not the case. Many songs on Endless Pain contain some interesting mid-paced build up, and up tempo “Thrash breaks” amidst the fast Thrash assault. The last interesting note is the use of both Ventor and Mille as vocalists. They kind of take turns on a song per song basis doing the vocal duties and both have distinctive styles. Ventor has more of pre-Death Metal harsh style, taking influence from Cronos and Tom Warrior. Meanwhile Mille is ahead of his time with what can be best described as a Black Metal style before Black Metal as we know it existed. Sure, Mille’s vocal style on this CD is very common today and he himself has changed his vocal approach slightly, but in 1985 almost no one sang like this. This is further proof that I feel Endless Pain is more influential than some might think.

The early to mid 80’s were the years of the Thrash debuts and Endless Pain definitely ranks as one of the best. I already mentioned that the structures of the songs are very strong but how about the individual riffs? Each riff shows a striking amount of maturity, being somewhere in between Kill ‘Em All and Show No Mercy with a Venom mentality. There really are some classic riffs on this release and they are helped by a very fast and strong drum performance that blisters by with double bass, Thrash runs, and crazy fills (keep in mind few Thrash bands in 1985 used a lot of double bass). Like it or not, Kreator were probably the most consistently fastest Thrash band for their time. What amazes me though is that the riffs never get muddy, sloppy, or unrecognizable. Each riff is distinct and well played to the point that the speed is a huge asset and not a recipe for sloppy playing (Venom anyone?). The two vocal styles have already been discussed but I will say I prefer Mille. Both styles fit the music but Mille sounds a lot more original and more mature where as Ventor tries to sound like Cronos a bit too much.

Though the production is slightly weak by today’s standards and even compared to Kill ‘Em All, it’s definitely not weak so don’t let that turn you off from a classic Thrash release full of bone-crushing tempos and riffs that'll leave your neck sore for days. Many of these songs are still in Kreator’s live set such as Total Death and Tormentor while the opening riff of Cry War seems to have impressed Mayhem, as the opening to Necrolust is very similar. Varied riffs and drumming move Endless Pain along with a fast pace that commands you to bang your head from beginning to end! Though later releases would become even more aggressive and full of even more riffs, Endless Pain still stands as raw, energetic, early Thrash masterpiece.

Killing Songs :
Total Death, Storm Of The Beast, Tormentor, Cry War, Bonebreaker, Dying Victims
Crims quoted 87 / 100
Jeff quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Kreator that we have reviewed:
Kreator - Coma of Souls reviewed by Bar and quoted 94 / 100
Kreator - Pleasure to Kill reviewed by Bar and quoted CLASSIC
Kreator - Phantom Antichrist reviewed by Thomas and quoted 90 / 100
Kreator - Terrible Certainty reviewed by Kyle and quoted 95 / 100
Kreator - Hordes of Chaos reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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