Kreator is a thrash metal band from Essen, Germany, formed in 1978, but formalized in 1982 under the name Tormentor. They originally performed a speed metal style with Venom influences. Their style of music is similar to their compatriots Destruction and Sodom, the other two big German thrash metal bands. All three of these bands are often credited with helping pioneer death metal, by containing several elements of what was to become the genre. Kreator's work began in the vein of pure thrash metal but ventured into industrial and gothic from 1992 to 1999, before eventually returning to their classic thrash sound to date.
To date, Kreator has released twelve 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 #16 on the Media Control Charts, the band's highest ever chart position in Germany. The band is currently working on new material for a thirteenth studio album, which is due for release in 2012.