Whenever internationally-known German Thrash Titan Kreator makes it to your town, it is an absolute must to put the bong down and go catch this band live. On tour now and co-headlining the “War Eternal American Tour” alongside Arch Enemy (with direct support coming from Huntress), Kreator made a stop on November 8th at the Hawthorne Theater in Portland, Oregon. After releasing 2012’s “Phantom AntiChrist” LP and 2013’s “Dying Alive” Live DVD/CD (Nuclear Blast Records) featuring both new and classic tunes dating back to the beginning, Kreator is now down to the the last few rips of three years of worldwide touring domination. After 13 full-length albums, countless international live appearances and just as many smoke-filled stages, front-man Millie Petrozza, along with band members Jurgen Reil, Christian Geister and Sami Yli-Sirniö, gave Portland all the goodness they have left, and that is still better than most.
Opening the night with a blazing set was California’s Huntress, catering the end of their set to the newly legalized crowd with front woman Jill Janus shouting “Everyone smoke weed!” Then, taking the first spot of the co-headlining set on this calm hazy Portland night, was Kreator. As the band took the stage, smoke machines began exhaling clouds over the glazed red stage lights, giving the band their consistent “Of Hell” look and feel that always compliments live tracks like “Enemy of God,” “Phantom Antichrist,” and “Voices Of the Dead!” With those of us here in Oregon still ablaze from the culmination of efforts which led to November 4th’s legalization of marijuana under Measure 91, the continuous stage smoke seemed to become a downright reminder of the Freedoms we all share, including our music choices. Opening their set with hard-hitting tracks like “Violent Revolution,” “Civilization Collapse,” and “Phobia” to an apparently sold-out Hawthorne Theatre (who even opened the usually vacant balcony), the floor burst with fists and horns. Even Huntress‘ merch table got somewhat tackled in the excitement, with a few on the spot thrashers saving the day. Kreator, being one of those bands in the Metal genre that breaks down walls and helps to define Metal/Thrash, are loved by most and completely commanded the crowd and stage with “Extreme Aggression!”
Before the thrash even began for the night, 420radio.org was able to catch up with guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö to talk about the last few years, and what’s up next for the band. One of the highlights of our chat was asking Sami his thoughts about Oregon legalizing marijuana just four daze after the historical vote. Talking with Sami, you really get the sense that the intimidating persona these Metal giants have acquired over the course of their musical catalog and 30 years of live shows is just a heavy Metal costume of sorts that doesn’t completely reflect the band’s true depth and breadth. His playing style adds a classical dimension to the band, complimenting founder Millie Petrozza’s aggression with class and shred. Live, Sami has a movement of purpose and seems to glide across the stage never missing a skillful note. Closing out the night with tunes like “Victory Will Come,” “Hordes Of Chaos,” ” Impossible Brutality,” and the classic “Pleasure to Kill,” Kreator once again blisters the face and melts the metal heart. Take a moment and check out my interview below with Sami Yli-Sirniö!