Kreator live in Athens 2018

On a chilly Sunday afternoon and after suffering a fuse blow-out or something of the sort that put my car out of service, I took the tube out to Keramikos station to catch Kreator on their n-th performance upon Greek soil (a quick estimate, is thirteen or so shows?) some 5 or so years since the last time they were in Athens.
kreator live Athens 2018 poster

Arriving there, the queue of people waiting to enter the concert hall was extending to the side of the block (about 100+ meters) but it was being processed fairly quickly. I managed to enter a few minutes later only missing a few songs by Frenchies Dagoba, whose melodic core of sorts is both not my cup of tea, but also seemed to not have any great impact, mainly due to the godamn auful sound they had, which was too chaotic. Their performance too, seemed non consistent, with their singer being quite disruptive seemingly more interested in working up the crowd than keeping things flowing properly. If after 20 years you’re still at entry level, it’s a tell-tale thing that they’re probably heading nowhere.
 
Given plenty of time to switch over the stage, Vader, who replaced fellow Poles Decapitaded on the bill.(who were recently accused of rape and kidnap, but finally got acquitted - but still had to abandon the tour prior to its start. Vader took the stage at about half past eight (I wasn’t watching the clock) to unleash their grim and cold blackened death thrash and chose to actually perform their debut “The Ultimate Incantation” on its 25th anniversary in its entirety, more or less. Their sound and performance was much better when compared with Dagoba and their fans must have really gotten their money’s worth.
 
Kreator took the stage a few minutes, past their 22:00 mark and for the next hour and a half proceeded to destroy Athens, with a tight and precise performance encompassing a plethora of hits, both from the recent “Gods of Violence”, as well as from the band’s illustrious past of more than thirty years.
 
The crowd that had filled the venue without overcrowding (ie 1300+ people of a 2000 capacity) didn’t need to be told to go crazy and soon, a pretty sizable permanent “pit” occupied the middle of the ground floor, for most of the duration of the concert. The sound was pretty great, the band firing on all six, even Mille’s voice, that in recent tours seemed worse for wear on several performances, was forceful and true to the recordings to a large extend. Only the lights seemed to be blindingly set and too numerous, with constant strobos and head on headlights, making it hard to even look at the stage without averting your gaze for a while, pretty cool for a while, but annoying in the long term. Several narrow projection screens flashed portions of pictures or messages relating to the songs in the background and the whole show was as pro – as it could be.
 
The band wasted no time after a pre-recorded “Mars Mantra” to unleash nonstop “Phantom Antichrist”, “Hail to the Hordes”, where Mille greeted the audience briefly, “Enemy of God”, “Satan is Real”, “Civilization Collapse” and “People of the Lie” at which point and prior to unleashing the “Flag of Hate”, Mille got out with a Kreator flag and demanded people to cry out with him. “Phobia” might have been a more contemporary and modern sounding number, but its incredible riff and smart groove, despite being semi industrial, was too hard to resist, having transformed it into one of the biggest hits for the band in recent years. “Gods of Violence” brought us to the most recent past, but “Total Death” took us back to the very beginning. “From Flood Into Fire” I must say I mostly missed, catering to human needs – like peeing and getting some more drinks while for “Hordes of Chaos”, “Violent Revolution” and “Totalitarian Terror” I decided to wander to the balcony, just to get a different view, since I rarely choose to watch shows from such a vantage point, but I thought why not.
 
A small stage exit was followed by an encore of “Fallen Brothers”, where pictures of many late musicians (some of them as recent as the past couple of years) were shown on the screen at the back; “Betrayer” before which Mille did a prologue, about sneaking a camera into the Acropolis to do it’s video and how much Greece means to the band and how welcome they feel every time they perform here and last but not least, “Pleasure to Kill”, another blast from the past and an ideal way to close the night in pandemonium and total catastrophe.
 
Well, a good night out then that must have pleased the plethora of thrash fans that had gone for a while without a major thrash metal concert and an all-around smooth and enjoyable performance, by one of the few genuine and honest to no god – good things out of Germany.
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