Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen. Their style of music is similar to that of their compatriots Destruction, Sodom and Tankard; along with those three bands, Kreator has been referred to as one of the "Big 4" 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. 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. 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.
To date, Kreator has released thirteen studio albums, two EPs, two live albums and three compilation albums. They gained a large underground fanbase in the international thrash metal community, and were one of the first German thrash metal bands to sign to a major label (Epic Records in 1988). However, Kreator would not have success until later albums, including their thirteenth studio album Phantom Antichrist (2012), which peaked at higher chart positions in many countries. The band has been working on a new album, which is due for release in 2017.