Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen, formed in 1982. Their current lineup consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Miland “Mille” Petrozza, drummer Jürgen “Ventor” Reil, lead guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö, and bassist Frédéric Leclercq. The band’s lineup has changed multiple times over its 40-year career, most noticeably with their bassists and lead guitarists. Petrozza and Reil are the only two original members left in Kreator, although Reil took a brief hiatus from the band from 1994 to 1996. Yli-Sirniö has been the lead guitarist of Kreator since 2001, while Leclercq joined in 2019 as the replacement of Christian “Speesy” Giesler, who had been a member of the band since 1994.
To date, Kreator has released fourteen studio albums, two EPs, two live albums and three compilation albums. They gained a large underground fanbase in the international thrash metal community, with their second studio album Pleasure to Kill (1986) regarded as an influential album of the genre. Many of their subsequent albums – including Terrible Certainty (1987), Extreme Aggression (1989) and Coma of Souls (1990) – were also highly acclaimed. Despite being an influential band, as well as one of the first European thrash metal acts to sign to a major label (signing to Epic Records in 1988), Kreator would not achieve mainstream popularity until later albums, including their thirteenth studio album Phantom Antichrist (2012) and its follow-up Gods of Violence (2017), both of which charted highly in many countries, with the latter reaching number one on the German charts. Their latest studio album, Hate Über Alles, is due for release on June 3, 2022.
The band has achieved worldwide sales of over two million units for combined sales of all their albums, making them one of the best-selling German thrash metal bands of all time. Along with Destruction, Sodom and Tankard, Kreator is one of the “big four” of Teutonic thrash metal, responsible for developing and popularizing the German thrash metal scene as well as pioneering the then-burgeoning death metal and black metal genres during the mid-1980s.