Thrash is a universal language in metal. No matter where it is, everyone understands thrash. It’s the link between the new and old. It’s loud and fast, and that is why it got the world’s attention. Nothing took the technical ability of metal and blended it with the speed and aggression of hardcore hunk like thrash. Though it hit big in America, thrash really blew up in Germany—and Kreator was at the head of it all. The band took the stage at The Masquerade last Wednesday in support of recent release Phantom Antichrist, putting on a show well worth it for any true fan of metal.

Area band Disfigurement opened the night, a joyful death metal outfit that crushed eardrums by taking notes from old-school groups like Vader and Morbid Angel. They gave that good old assault on the senses just like any true death metal band should. Their sound reverberated in the late 80’s style—brutality without repetitiveness. The performance was great as well. No frills, just aggression. I hope to hear these guys again soon, because they left a tremendous impression.

Now, this was actually supposed to be an off-night from the tour, but Swallow the Sun and Kreator decided to just keep on going. Swallow the Sun changed the pace of the evening; before the show, I was surprised that they were playing with Kreator just because their music is very down-tempo compared to high-tempo thrash. I don’t blame Swallow the Sun for being an inert show though, because that’s just doom metal in general. It is very heavy, but lacks a lot of energy. Swallow the Sun is a great band, but the live show left a lot to be desired.

The band Accept bowed out for the night, so the show was only three bands long. As a result, we got more Kreator. Who wouldn’t want more time with kings of thrash? Their set spanned quite a bit of their career, from songs such as Flag of Hate to their newer ones like Civilization Collapse, giving fans a taste of everything they wanted. Getting the chance to hear songs from all the way back to their first album was quite the experience.

As for the performance, it was probably one of the most exhilarating and energetic shows I ever saw. The speed and volume that they played was so intense that I could literally feel my brain vibrating inside my skull. It was a first for sure. The crowd response as a whole was nothing short of energetic and positive, being one of the strongest pits I’ve had the privilege of seeing. Every moment was a shot of adrenaline, just pushing the crowd more and more, creating a whirlwind of energy between the band and the audience. Kreator is hands down one of the best shows you will ever get to experience and if you pass up that chance, well, you’re just going to have to regret that for the rest of your life.