Hordes of Chaos (SPV, 2009) has the same ingredients as Kreator's post-'90s, return-to-thrash records: politically correct (and fairly awful) lyrics, some melody, slick production. But while later Kreator albums typically have a few bangers and loads of filler (I spy a "greatest hits" disc ahead), Hordes is compelling throughout. Here is a band whose t-shirts have eclipsed its music for almost 20 years. All of a sudden it's kicking ungodly amounts of ass. What gives?

Hordes of Chaos
Demon Prince

Here's my theory: Kreator are juicing. A-Rod did it, Barry Bonds did it, and probably so did these Germans. How else to explain such surprisingly sophisticated songs, at such un-forty-something speeds? Kreator haven't balanced energy with finesse this well since Coma of Souls. They're old men who've not only gotten in shape, but are practically gold medaling in gymnastics. Sly Stallone was 60 when he made the last Rambo movie, and he was absolutely ripped, thanks to HGH and prescription testosterone. I didn't mind one bit. A friend of mine thinks it's wrong if pro athletes don't juice. They're paid so much that they had better perform at 150%. If geezers can thrash this hard, I'll have whatever it is they're having.

- Cosmo Lee

Amazon (MP3)
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Interpunk (CD, LP)