Great Metal Albums of 1987: Kreator- Flag of Hate

It is times like these I wish the internet existed back in 1987. This way, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting my historical facts wrong. See, I didn’t discover Kreator’s EP, “Flag of Hate,” until early 1987. Therefore, at the time, I assumed that it must have been released in that year or at the very least, at the tail end of 1986. Well, according to Wikipedia, (I know it’s not the most accurate source at times), the EP came out even before their much heralded 1986 album, “Pleasure to Kill.” So, to you purists and those Brits who think Americans don’t give a stuff about historical accuracy, I apologize for my error and blame the lack of internet and the fact that it was that iconic “Pleasure to Kill” album which first got Kreator seriously noticed. If it hadn’t been for that album, “Flag of Hate” might have passed by virtually unnoticed and that would have been a shame because it’s a fine album.

“Flag of Hate” consists of just three songs, all very good ones. Having heard “Pleasure to Kill” first, my initial reaction when the title track came blasting through my stereo speaker was that they were carrying on with the formula that made mentioned album so great. It is loud, fast and furious and straight to the point. Like the songs from that other album, it clocks in at just under four minutes but it’s three minutes and fifty-six seconds of pure thrash madness with power chords galore, Mille Petrozza barking his way through the lyrics and then showing that he can shred. It also makes me wonder why he demoted himself to rhythm guitar in recent years. Still, it’s a great start!

It’s the other two songs where things get rather interesting. Both “Take Their Lives” and “Awakening the Gods” are over six minutes long. At the time, many thought great thrash songs should have been short and sharp and about half that time. Anything else and you’re getting into concept territory. However, as Flotsam and Jetsam proved on their “Doomsday for the Deceiver” album, you can have great thrash songs of up to nine minutes in length. Now for those who think that a song of that length might give mosh pit participants a heart attack, “Take Their Lives” does slow down in places so you can catch your breath. When it does, the void is filled with some great guitar riffs and Mille screaming the song title. He also shreds very well on this one.

“Awakening the Gods” opens with riffs that could fit in very well with most mainstream metal songs. However, it isn’t long before things go really nuts. Like “Take Their Lives,” “Awakening the Gods” does slow down in the middle with song great instrumental work from all three members of Kreator. In fact, while I have been singing the praises of Mille for his vocals and guitar work, I should definitely sing the praises of drummer Ventor, especially on this last track. The fact that he doesn’t miss a beat throughout the entire seven plus minutes of this song is just amazing. He is certainly an underrated and hard working drummer and deserves a lot of praise. It was no wonder when Kreator finished their set at Download 2018, Ventor was drenched in sweat.

Mille leads Kreator onto the stage with Ventor in support. Download 2018

Track Listing:

  1. Flag of Hate
  2. Take Their Lives
  3. Awakening the Gods

Mille Petrozza- vocals, guitar

Rob Fioretti- bass

Jurgen ‘Ventor’ Reil- drums

“Flag of Hate” may only have three songs but those songs are so powerful, by the time you’ve listened to the EP, you would have though you had listened to a ten song LP. With albums like this, who needs aerobics to get in shape?

Next post: I am off to Newcastle Upon Tyne for four days this week. Mrs 80smetalman loves the city and is definitely looking forward. For me, it’s my first opportunity to see a live gig in nearly two years. I’ll be heading to Newcastle’s best known rock bar, Trillians. According to Facebook, on Thursday they’re having a tribute to the 30th anniversary of Metallica’s “Black Album.” If that’s the case, it sound very promising and I’ll give a full report upon my return.

Trillian’s from my first gig review on 80smetalman back in 2012

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