An old roommate once offered a thought: "Dude, is there any popular music from Germany that doesn't suck?!"

In thinking about it, he had a point -- this is a country that made that Hasselhoff guy a performing god and presented the cranky robotics of Kraftwerk as its version of progressive. Is that the best the Germans could do? Of course, the notion that all German rock sucks is not entirely true. The Krauts have managed a modicum of artistic integrity and enjoyability when it comes to heavy metal. The farther we travel away from the era, the more the Scorpions and UFO look like champions of the early '80s, with their emphasis on song dynamics and guitar aerobics.

Kreator may be the most accomplished of all these veteran bands. For 16 years, the quartet has embraced the speed-metal pace of Motörhead and Metallica and the occult shtick of Iron Maiden while maintaining the guitar harmonies and songwriting strength of their poppier countrymen. Live Kreation, the newest offering from Kreator, showcases the band's live chops, compiling performances from South Korea and Brazil.



Bash on Ash, 230 West Fifth Street in Tempe

Scheduled to perform with Nile, Vader, Goatwhore, and Amon Amarth on Monday, October 6. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 480-966-8200 for more information.

Despite Kreator's obvious talents, however, the album does offer a few moments that may intensify my old buddy's disdain. It's tough, after all, not to laugh at anyone with a thick German accent who yowls, "This is the first time we play here and we hope you people feel aggresssssive!!! Extreme aggression!!!"


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