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There’s amazing EPs from those old times, I was sometimes amazed that 4 or 5 songs could reach a higher level than the stuff on an album, even feature a much better production. People like Xentrix, Razor, Vio-lence, Sacred Reich, Evildead or Slayer for instance, demonstrated how solid that short format could be. And if we take a look at the EP catalog from Teutonic thrash, we will find a huge bunch of great material. From the Big 3 obviously, the unforgettable “Sentence Of Death”, “In The Sign Of Evil” or the underrated “Out Of The Dark...Into The Light” have become classic masterpieces. It was a common practice to put out those shorter than aLP but longer than a single releases among most of metal bands. Protector as well did something memorable as you can check in these 4 killer tracks.
This stuff offers brutality and relentless death/thrash, from the first track to the last. Even straighter faster more outrageous tunes than what we heard before on the previous releases, different from the mid-paced ways from “Urm The Mad”. Speed increases notably and the violent riffs and hooks are totally fierce and lethal. There’s a bunch of raw blast beats with the band attacking together with no compassion. They rivalize with the velocity of early grindcore groups back then, but these songs are luckily well-elaborated and lenghty enough to satisfy. The fine song-writing is very skilled; there’s a lot of essential breaks, bridges, changes in the rhythm and alternating structures to not let everything hanging on a riff. However, this material is not incredibly technical or progressive, but the sadistic death/thrash concept of Protector definitely required certain abilities. Otherwise, the instrumental passages, specially in the fasters moments, would sound clumsy and incompetent like the lame intentions we heard from other generic bands of that time. So the talent and musicianship of these guys is remarkable, along with their efficient convincing song-writing task. The quality of the riffs you will find here is not impressing or marvelous, but they are well-executed and coherent. Hansi Müller alternates heavy weighty dark riffs with outrageous frantic ones, that vary along with the tempo. Just like other Teutonic thrashers, the simplicity is smashed and denied, they don’t get stuck in the same riff serie and constantly change and modify it.
The classic Protector line-up (with the exception of Missy, who got replaced by Wiebel) is as effective as we could expect, in particular Olly’s growling is very solid and intense. Hansi Müller is still performing some sloppy solos, but there’s some very elaborated shredding ones at times that demonstrate he could be talented and creative when he didn’t use the whammy-bar effects excessively. Bass and drums from one of the finest rhytmic sections of Teutonic metal, Belichmeier-Hasse, show no weakness; the blast beats sound very consistent and the rhythm is defined correctly, its execution is precise. No virtuosism or astonishing technique though. The composition-writing is inspired and plenty of fresh ideas. There were other legendary groups who also combined both death and thrash subgenres (Merciless, Massacra, their mates Poison, Necrodeath, Devastation, Num Skull and co.), but Protector were one of the pioneers of providing that rough style of insatiable velocity. That speed is not chaotic and just a bunch of noise, it’s rather skilled and controlled most of the time, another admirable element here. I still insist on how great the music of this band was, if you listen to the many who tried to mix death and thrash, you will notice how unique and special their sound is. You can’t really find something that similar to what they did. And the production is amazing, devastating, almost perfect and much more professional and well –balanced than on the previous records. See? I warned you about the superior characteristics of some EPs, probably this is the best sound engineering and mixing job the band ever had.
So stuff like this makes clear EPs deserve much more attention. The actual trend is to include EPs’ material as bonus tracks in the reissues of those old albums, and usually people skip them to concentrate on the LP tunes only. Extra songs are a sensible choice to recover some rare stuff, but I’m afraid most of record labels do it to fill the CD (LP’s had limited lenght back then, shorter than the capacity of nowadays discs). I persist on the need to focus on these kind of releases, because you’ll might a nice surprise. This one I reviewed is an ideal example, splendid 4 songs plenty of talent, creativity and destructive aggression. All thrash and death fans should be listening to this.
I happened to come upon this little treasure the other day while I was going through a strong Protector phase. Some really nice German thrash and I might go as far to even say this my favorite release by them.
This albums starts off with a nice intro to set them move them blazes into Humanized Leviathan. Such a catchy song all the way around. Catchy riffs, catchy lyrics, catchy chorus..eh, forgetable drumming, but the rest make up for it.
Next up is Subordinate. Hmm..a catchy song in parts. Catchy intro then slides into an iffy portion of the song, but then the chorus hits and makes up for it. The catchy part comes of towards the end of the song. You'll know it when you hear it.
Then comes Mortal Passion. Mmmmm what a tasty track! Agressive vocals, like every song, catchy unforgetable riff, and a good drum line to match the superb riffing.
Next is a different version of Kain and Abel. It tells the story most know of Kain slaying Abel, but with a more blasphemous intent. This version would surely make the Christians cringe. The music is good as a whole, but the real treat of this track is the story it tells.
The last 3 tracks are from a previous EP named "Misanthropy". As far as I know they are the same tracks from it with nothing added. Misanthropy is a pretty evil track. One you could listen to over and over again. Same with Holy Inquisition. Finally comes the catchiest track on the album..Agoraphobia. Now THIS is death/thrash at it's finest. I've found myself listening to this track for hours at a time. One of my favorite songs of all time.
Best song: Agoraphobia
Worst song: There are none that are bad.