I don't think the Sodom-Destruction-Kreator package has ever done a tour prior to this one. In the mid eighties I am sure people would have killed for this to happen, but perhaps back then the bands were too much aware of their competing status, I don't know. I for one would loved to have seen Destruction in their original line-up (with two guitarists, anyway) and Sodom with Frank Blackfire, but alas that's no longer the case.

First up, however, was the American band Wycked Wytch. Female-fronted and therefore potentially worthy of a listen. To use the words of Frank Cross in "Scrooged", "boy, does that suck!" The guys looked like they take the gothic thing way too seriously (with a bit of a nu metal image ingredient to boot), and the vocalist was a) Bad, b) Way too fat for the clothes she wore and c) Bad. They played for over 20 minutes, not a minute of which was worthy of anything but scornful laughter.

Kreator was up next. A strange order, if you ask me, because Kreator is the most consistently good band of the three mid-eighties thrash metal icons playing that evening. They played a variety of tracks, not forgetting their old material. They even did "Pleasure to Kill", whereas the encore was "Flag of Hate" coupled with "Tormentor". Other tracks included "Riot of Violence", "Extreme Aggression", Terrible Certainty", "People of the Lie" and (I think) "The Sun Burns Red". I recall they also did one song from "Renewal", and other than that "Reconquering the Throne", "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell" and "Violent Revolution" from their latest album. I don't think they did anything from "Endorama", which I think is a bit of a shame. Kreator were certainly the band that came across most professional and well-oiled. Good stuff.

Destruction, up after Kreator, was my personal favourite of the three. The albums they did before Schmier left are all true classics, and I was glad to see the reunion happen. The reunion album was OK, the new album is so-so. Thankfully, they also played a lot of old stuff! The latest album was represented by "Thrash 'Til Death" and "Nailed to the Cross", the reunion album by "Tears of Blood" and "The Butcher Strikes Back". The old tracks they did included "Curse the Gods" (with which they opened), "Mad Butcher", "Total Desaster", "Invincible Force", "Bestial Invasion" (yeah!!), a medley kicking off with the excellent "Antichrist" followed by "Reject Emotions" (yeah!), "Live Without Sense" and "Eternal Ban". Schmier seemed to be having a pretty good time and Mike did his best to fill in all the guitar parts, but really Destruction needs two guitars. A damn shame Harry didn't reunite with them. I am glad to have seen the band. At least now I can die peacefully, or something like that.

Up last (and, as far as I am concerned, at the most illogical spot in the playing order) were Sodom. Up to "Agent Orange" (1989) they were extremely good and made some of the best metal ever to come from Germany. With "Better off Dead" things started to go awry. Band members came and went faster than you could say "Yngwie Malmsteen", and the music became, well, a kind of beer metal. Songs about blow-up dolls seemed to be the best they could come up with.

Thankfully the band seemed to realise that old material was called for. Before the encores we got "Withing Metal", "Outbreak of Evil" and "Blasphemer" from their 1988 debut. We also got "Remember the Fallen", "Wachturm / Erwachet", "The Saw is the Law" and two tracks off their latest, "M-16" and "Napalm in the Morning". I don't remember much else they played. Before the encore I decided it might be wise to beat the rush, during which I heard them launching into "Ace of Spades". Nice to have seen Sodom, but I don't think I will need to see them again. Too bad I didn't see them back in their "In the Sign of Evil" period.


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Written December 2001


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