Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen. Their style of music is similar to their compatriots Destruction, Sodom and Tankard, the other three big German thrash metal bands. All three bands except Tankard are often credited with helping pioneer death metal, by containing several elements of what was to become the genre.
The band formed in 1982 with no name, but decided on Tormentor in 1984. They originally performed a speed metal style with Venom influences. Kreator's work began in the vein of thrash metal but ventured into Industrial metal and Gothic metal from 1992 to 1999, before eventually returning to their classic thrash sound to date.
Kreator has released thirteen studio albums, two EPs, one live album and three compilation albums. The band released its debut album Endless Pain in 1985. Although many of their previous albums, including Pleasure to Kill (1986), were quite popular in the United States, Kreator did not experience major American commercial success until the 2009 release of their twelfth studio album, Hordes of Chaos, which peaked at number 165 on the Billboard 200 and debuted at No. 16 on the Media Control Charts, the band's highest ever chart position in Germany. In June 2012, Kreator released their thirteenth studio album, Phantom Antichrist, which has been well received.