Kreator/Accept - September 8, 2012 - Worcester Palladium, Worcester, MA
By: Matt Coe
Home to the infamous New England Hardcore and Metal Festival, the Worcester Palladium hosted the 2012 Teutonic Terror tour with Accept and Kreator as co-headliners. This being the fourth date of their North American sojourn, it’s always hopeful that any of the sound kinks that could plague early shows have been resolved by this point. The turnout brought multiple generations of fans from all across New England (friends of mind travelled over three hours to see this) either into the thrash template Kreator helped develop or the traditional styling that brought Accept to international fame in the early to mid-1980’s.
Hitting the stage at 7:45 pm, Finnish epic doom/death band Swallow the Sun get the unenviable task to warm up the few hundred who dare to hit the gates early. With only 35 minutes to win over the crowd, the sextet played 5 songs from their catalog, delivering spirited metal faces and contortions (especially from keyboardist Aleksi Munter). “Cathedral Walls” and “Swallow” appeared to get heads bobbing and feet tapping slightly, and you cannot fault the drumming skills of Kai Hahto who had lightning-fast thrilling fill work amidst the crawling tempos- but overall the lack of biting guitars in the mix didn’t help the cause. Somehow I think the band would have been better paired with a Katatonia or Paradise Lost type act, and might be something to ponder with future North American treks.
By 8:45 pm, the curtain opens on the tremendous Accept drum riser and kit and the opening chords of “Hung, Drawn and Quartered” ring clear as day from twin guitarists Wolf Hoffman and Herman Frank. Over the next 75 minutes, the five-piece slayed an audience ready for traditional metal. Mixing the set list with favorites from their new album Stalingrad and their 2010 comeback effort Blood of the Nations along with a host of favorites from the back catalog like “Losers and Winners,” “Breaker,” “Up to the Limit” and “Princess of the Dawn,” there was no doubt of the band making its mark on the Worcester audience.
Numerous melody sing-a-longs (often without band cohorting), dual axe posturing, and a genuine sense of happiness to be appreciated made me feel like Accept know their place in the metal books but don’t feel content to rest on their laurels. “Teutonic Terror,” “Metal Heart,” “Fast as a Shark” and “Balls to the Wall” left the crowd satisfied, and I for one can’t wait for the live DVD chronicling this tour, as the veterans still have plenty left in their tank to deliver for the genre.
A short 30 minute break between stage changeovers, and we were again ready for German’s leader in the thrash game, Kreator. The stage backdrop and side art resembled their latest album Phantom Antichrist. Mille Petrozza would scream out the first lines to the title track after the “Mars Mantra” intro, and it was off to the circle pit, crowd surfing races for much of the audience on the floor. What I noticed instantly is a struggle to get a proper mix - the guitars much softer and only coming to the surface during the mid-tempo or slower measures, Ventor gaining the lion’s share of bottom end sound with his persistent double bass. Mille had the benefit of three microphone set-ups across the stage (one in the center, one in each corner higher up near the drum riser), but during the chorus sections of songs like “Enemy of God” or “Phobia,” his effects would magnify his voice ten times louder than necessary.
Five songs from the new album factor into the set (“From Flood Into Fire” and “United in Hate” going over very well with the crowd) as well as requisite oldies such as “Extreme Aggression,” “Betrayer,” “Tormentor” and the set closer “Flag of Hate.” If you wanted a sea of red lights, strobes galore, and enough fog to choke the dead, Kreator is your band to see in a live environment. Mille spent a lot of his time in between songs praising the old school metalheads for keeping this music alive and encouraging a ton of pit action.
The biggest pluses I felt for both co-headliners were no unnecessary solo spots to sacrifice the songs at hand, and the fact that neither band left the stage from the beginning of their set until the end. Why do we need to have an encore anyway? I’ve rather have both bands playing for 75 minutes and delivering the goods. Considering this is the first time both German veterans have played together on tour in their lifetimes, it’s a treat you need to see for yourself, as their commitment to the cause is universal.