Released: 1999, Drakkar Records
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
I am sure a number of Kreator fans are wondering about this new album. As of late, Kreator have been throwing quite a few curve balls. Beginning with the primitive debut Endless Pain, Kreator steadily progressed in a linear fashion until WHAM!!: Renewal!! A change in vocal style and musical direction caused a lot of fans to turn their backs on this classic thrash act. Then it seemed Kreator dropped off the face of the planet. All of a sudden Cause for Conflict was unleashed and although it was one of their most brutal thrash albums, it seemed to go unnoticed. Yet another change in direction came forth as Outcast, a heavy yet slower and darker album. Now what can you expect of Endorama?
First of all, it's still METAL. Kreator have not gone gothic. Of all of their albums, it resembles Outcast the most. The dark and moody elements of Outcast have been expanded on for Endorama. This, coupled with an excellent vocal performance by Mille, may be where people are getting their "goth" interpretation of this album. Yes, I do see some similarities. But only SOME. Mille uses his usual growl of course, but he has expanded his approach to include whispered, muffled, lower register, and double-tracked vocals. He even tries "singing" at times, as in "Chosen Few", where he gives us a taste of his darkened emotional side. A variety of vocal effects have been used also, and very effectively at that. All of the dark and well written lyrics have been penned by Mille too. Overall, Mille gives one of his best vocal performances to date.
The guitar work on this album is impressive also, and it's great to hear some quality lead guitar for a change. Some of Kreator's best riffs in years have been played on this album. Jurgen Reil's drum performance is also rock solid. And these songs are written better than the rather simple approach taken on Outcast…not that Endorama is a complicated affair…this album's arrangements just spark more interest. And the songs stand apart from each other very well, due to a good variety in song writing and structuring. Orchestral arrangements appear, as in "Everlasting Flame", which enhance the song and is a welcome addition to the album. And get this…there's an instrumental present on this album! Kreator hasn't written many instrumentals, but "Entry" is a very delicate and orchestrated one, providing a nice lead and contrast to the caustic "Soul Eraser". Keyboards/programming are used sparingly on this album, but take Kreator to new dimensions too. All of this, combined with a superior sound quality, really makes the listening experience enjoyable.
Kreator seem to have steered themselves onto the right path. It sounds as though they were very inspired during the writing process. Endorama sounds very fresh…as if it's a new beginning for Kreator. I can't explain the feeling I get from listening to this album…but it makes me feel proud to still be a fan of theirs. I also want to commend Kreator for the excellent, dark, yet eye-catching artwork. And throughout all of the changes, it is great to see that they've not only kept the band together, but they've kept the same logo! My only disappointment with this CD is the band photo…a bit too colorful for this album (although I am sure that was their intention). A nice photo of the guys standing in the pouring rain in a forest somewhere would have been more appropriate.
Finally, fans should know that the Japanese release of this CD contains a bonus track: "Children of a Lesser God". A damn good song indeed…maybe one of the best on the album. Too bad it just wasn't added to it worldwide.