Kreator

Endorama

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Not content with his Kreator's already-established reputation as perhaps Germany's top thrash metal band of the 1980s, group mastermind Mille Petrozza spent much of the 1990s attempting to reinvent and diversify their sound, most obviously by pushing the industrial metal envelope. Alas, all to no avail, as the majority of fans were not impressed with the mostly mediocre results heard on confused albums like Renewal and Cause for Conflict. Even the welcome addition of guitar ace Tommy Vetterli (ex-Coroner) lent more consistency than actual sparks to 1997's Outcast, and 1999's similarly dependable but hardly impressive Endorama eventually followed suit. Initial highlights such as "Golden Age," the title track, and "Chosen Few" are heavy on mid-paced grooves and gothic atmospherics, but still offer little songwriting redemption. For all their studiously constructed lyrics and supposed compositional maturity, they absolutely scream for some sign, any sign, of deeper emotion to snap them out of their glazed state of performed automation. Not even the keyboards that pervade the highly unorthodox "Passage to Babylon," nor the more energetic riffing contained in "Willing Sprit" can ultimately jolt the album into a higher plane of achievement, but then, Endorama still qualifies among Kreator's most cohesive statements from this under-achieving decade. And for what it's worth, Endorama would also become the final chapter of the group's experimental phase, which was emphatically obliterated two years later by Kreator's gloriously thrashing rebirth via their magnificent tenth album, Violent Revolution.

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