We live in a time where key members of the classic metal bands of yore either claim to never discuss politics and current events or make outrageously stupid or heinous comments over social media. There’s something reassuring about listening to the German thrash masterminds, Kreator, absolutely go in on everything they hate. Luckily for us the things they hate are fascists, religious extremists, and cruelty in general. Not only that, but the playing on this thing is leagues ahead of everything their contemporaries are doing right now. They’re still capable of thrashing and writing choruses that deserve to be shouted back in stadiums. But what makes this album truly special is the amount of empathy on display. The last two tracks “Side by Side” and “Death Becomes My Light” are the highlights to my ears. The central message of both being: those of us who belong to the majority have a responsibility to align ourselves with the minority who may not have an affective voice against oppression. Closing out the album with the lyric “Don’t be afraid” proves once again that Kreator are metal’s number one humanitarians.
Now go punch a Nazi.