Kreator - Terrible Certainty - October, 1987
Kreator's first two albums were exercises in aggression -- sacrificing riffcraft and catchiness for ridiculous speed and little else. Something started to change with 1987's Terrible Certainty, a greater emphasis on song-building, as well as melody and even hooks. Mille and Co. also decided to add a second guitarist for their third album, which probably has something to do with the shift in approach.
The results are mixed, however. Terrible Certainty is an album that packs an absolute shitload of riffs, but they don't always jive together. Songs like "Blind Faith" and "Behind the Mirror" sound disjointed at times, while the main verse riff in "No Escape" sounds downright happy. The meat of the album is quite solid though, starting with the catchy-as-all-hell title track, continuing with what may be the best song and what is the only Ventor-fronted track "As the World Burns" and ending with riff-o-rama "Toxic Trace". There are other great moments, some real head-banging riffs, but the band wanders from riff to riff too often, losing the listener in the process.
Terrible Certainty can be seen as a transition album, guiding us from the band's raw and aggressive early works to the more melodic and refined sound we would hear on subsequent albums. It is certainly not the best Kreator release nor is it the worst, but it is a very necessary step in the band's discography.
Standouts: As the World Burns, Toxic Trace, Terrible Certainty