This was the final thrash record (i.e. last good one) Kreator would
make for a while, as they’d soon be entering a coma of their own through
an “experimental” (i.e. crap) phase for the rest of the 90’s.
Fortunately, the last two albums they did were pretty good, and
certainly help their legacy, since Kreator fans don’t have say now that
“Coma of souls” was the last good album. No, I’m not saying this was a
huge disappointment or anything, it is a nice, heavy, speedy thrash
offering, but still an underwhelming one in the end, and definitely not
the best that this band has done. The songwriting here just isn’t
distinctive enough, or able to keep enough consistent momentum (from
verses into choruses and such) to impress me, and while I can say “Coma” is a solid listen, it’s also rather unremarkable.
Opener “When the sun burns red” starts with a dramatically eerie
intro, with unexpected use of an acoustic guitar, making it the most
interesting thing on the entirety of the record, ‘cause after that’s
over, it’s all thrash thrash thrash and more thrash. I’m trying not to
complain about it, this is Kreator, after all, I just hoped for
something a bit more unique. Anyway, despite some awkwardly-delivered
lyrics from Mille, “sun” does give us pretty good headbanging fodder,
but doesn’t leave much of an impression after it’s over, and the same
thing can be said for the other tracks, for the most part. This record’s
just “listen to this, headbang some, and move on”, until it’s over and
you’re moving on to a different album. Even fan favorite, “People of the
lie”, really doesn’t stick out from the crowd.
As for how the individual components of the band sound, Ventor’s
drumming is energetic as usual, the rhythm guitar has a nice, gritty
tone to it, soloing’s very good, and the bass work is easily forgotten
among all the noise, but big whoop there. As for Mille’s vocals… eh, I
don’t think he’ll ever be called a “good” singer, but he still
has a rough, untrained charm to his vox, so he has that going at least.
And who listens to thrash metal for the singing, anyway?
I thought for a while about giving “Coma” a score of 8, but overall,
it just wasn’t unique or engaging enough to really deserve that. There
are some really good individual parts to be heard here, but the overall
songs just muddle together too much, and don’t leave enough of an
impression for me to call it a good record, just a solid one. “Coma” is
pretty enjoyable while it lasts, and if you’re a big Kreator fan, you’ll
certainly enjoy it, and if you’re a thrash fan in general, you’ll
probably like it as well, just don’t expect amazing material (more like…
reliable material), and you’ll be just fine.
Hope the Kreator fans don’t tear me apart for this now!