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Monday, October 18, 2021

Review: Kreator – Under the Guillotine

Label: Noise Records

Date: February 26th, 2021

What I’m listening to right now is the double CD compilation spanning over two hours of the early Kreator songs, taken from the first six albums of the Teutonic titans. At the same time, you can also get a hefty, deluxe box set containing all six full records on vinyl, and a shitload of bonus material. What these albums have in common, apart of the band name on their respective covers, is the label who originally released them. Hence, this is yet another case of “we don’t have you on our roster anymore, but we can still make money off your back catalogue”.

So, right from the start I will drop the “best of” tag from this release. Even if personal tastes may differ, there is no way anybody will choose a multitude of songs present here over the tried and tested hits off Kreator’s GUN, Drakkar, Steamhammer and, eventually, Nuclear Blast years.

Okay, I’ll admit it, many of these tracks are basically German thrash metal 1:01. Also, the mentioned bonus tracks are somewhat of a cool thing to hear, since they include demo takes, live recordings, re-mixes and re-masters… Naturally, there’s no downside to hearing songs like “Flag of Hate”, “People of the Lie”, “Pleasure to Kill” or “Under the Guillotine” again and again.

Still, the question of relevance of this release remains. To make matters even funnier, Noise Records re-released all of these records just two years ago. Not to mention the mere fact that the label basically makes a living off re-releases for years now. You would really have a hard time finding an actual new album by any band on their recent roster.

On the same note, there have already been two (!!!) compilations of the best tracks of Kreator’s Noise Records career prior to this one. Admittedly, there was no box set up to this point. But still…

You give me a point since I really don’t see it. Okay, they’ll probably make a quick buck. Undoubtedly, Kreator will not be left without certain compensation either. And sure, it will come in handy these days when the last profits for the bands and labels have gone away with tours being cancelled all over the place. The avid collectors with load up on swear words and go buy it, thus handing out a couple more paychecks for literally no effort whatsoever.

Now, being a collector myself, I’m calling out to my comrades in this “sickness”. If there’s any way to control your own mind, try to avoid “Under the Guillotine” as hard as you can! The whole thing is an elaborate attempt at heist of your hard earned money. If you’re aching for Kreator, go for the last year’s split 7” with Lamb Of God or the live recording of a proper best of, “London Apocalypticon”.