Renewal was the album that saw German thrash metal kings Kreator attempt to broaden their sound, relinquishing much of their legendary velocity in order to enter previously undreamed of industrial realms. Long-time Kreator fans will know that change is in the air simply by hearing Ventor's drums as they introduce opener "Winter Martyrium" with a very dry, somewhat hollow, and wholly unfamiliar snare sound. The guitars, when they kick in, also come across slightly muted, lacking the distinctive thrash metal bite characteristic of previous albums, while Mille Petrozza's vocals are pushed higher in the mix than usual, having magically reverse-mutated from his trademark shriek to a clearer, though arguably less effective shouted style. If they can get over these unexpected developments, which are all the more shocking coming from a band that had hardly progressed an iota since its inception (to the undisguised delight of many hardcore fans), listeners will find a decent set of songs in the likes of "Brainseed," "Karmic Wheel" and "Europe After the Rain." Many of these, especially the title track, explore slower tempos in a way you'd never expect from Kreator, and sure enough, most fans were not impressed, turning their backs on the band as they persisted in their sonic experimentation over the next decade.
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia