Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen, formed in 1982. Their current lineup has been the same since 2001: lead vocalist and guitarist Mille Petrozza, bassist Christian Giesler, drummer Jürgen "Ventor" Reil, and guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö. The band's lineup has changed multiple times over its 37-year career, leaving Petrozza as only constant member. Reil is the other original member left in Kreator though he had a hiatus from the band, which lasted from 1994 to 1996.
Kreator's musical style is similar to that of their compatriots Destruction, Sodom and Tankard, which is usually more complex and, since Violent Revolution, more melodic. Along with those three bands, Kreator has been referred to as one of the "Big Four" of Teutonic thrash metal, and they are often credited with helping pioneer death metal and black metal by containing several elements of what was to become those genres. The band's style has changed several times over the years, from a Venom-inspired speed metal sound, later moving into thrash metal, and including a period of transitioning from thrash to industrial metal and gothic metal throughout the 1990s.
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