Kreator and Testament

Phantom Antichrist, and Dark Roots of Earth (Nuclear Blast)



Phantom Antichrist (Deluxe Edition) (Nuclear Blast)


Dark Roots of Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Nuclear Blast)

The CD's only hope for commercial relevance compared to vinyl remains DVDs. Second wave thrash monsters Testament and Kreator each bolster conservation epics – Mother Earth's caught in a mosh – with album-making documentaries and live footage. Both LPs suffer from conceptual overlay in the face of peak-power guitar alchemy, yet these deluxe Digipaks eclipse cheaper counterparts. Phantom extremists and Antichrist religiosity end in natural disaster for German dynasty Kreator ("Death to the World"), but a full concert program from homeland gathering Wacken forgives all. Dark Roots of Earth also spills "Native Blood", its DVD insights better, but live footage from the Bay Area coming up lesser. Slayer-like/lite "True American Hate" parallels Kreator's "United in Hate," except Testa-monial mountaintop Chuck Billy – brother by another mother to Slayer's Tom Araya? – bellows uncannily like James Hetfield throughout Roots ("A Day in the Death"), including ballad misstep "Cold Embrace." A trio of bonus covers rip another page from Metallica's playbook in Queen's wicked "Dragon Attack." (Kreator destroys Emo's East Sept. 30.) (Both) ***

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Kreator, Testament

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