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The essential Protector record - 95%

DesecratorJ, July 12th, 2017

Hailing from Germany, Protector entered a bit late in the German thrash metal scene. Contrary to their country mates of Sodom, Destruction and Kreator, Protector started off only by 1986 and these other bands already had some albums and material out. However, despite being late, Protector had so much potential and they showed it with this EP. After releasing a two tracks demo in 1986, called "Protector of Death", drummer Michael Hasse decided to quit doing vocals and the band then decided to get a new "proper" singer. Martin Missy rejoined the band and became to be the last member of Protector of that era today. He brought a less evil, but more aggressive voice and tone to the band, and many different vocal styles that we can see in the first few Protector records. Their first official effort as a 4 man piece was the Misanthropy EP and was released in 1987, at a time that most German bands began to experiment other things then evil and maleficent thrash. The mini-album still succeeded in gaining attention because of its difference of what was going on at this time.

Despite many people thinking that the cover is cheap, Protector has never been a band with great album covers at all. At first, I wasn't that motivated to give the band a listen. Mainly because they felt so apart from the 80s German thrash scene. But I was terribly wrong in every way, Protector followed the roots of early Kreator, Sodom and especially on this record. Though, the band has developed their own style through the years after, evolving into a more death metal approach. Misanthropy is their more "thrashy" record and the best one if you ask me, this album is a pure German thrash attack, and among the most brutal releases from a thrash band of that time. The album features 6 tracks and have a running time of nearly 23 minutes, most songs also have an average length time of 3-4 minutes, a typical basic thrash record you might say ... But it is really not, the songwriting on this album is pretty damn cool and original, even at this point in 1987.

The most interesting thing on the album are the weird guitar riffs that we can notice on tracks such as "Agoraphobia", "The Mercenary" or "Holocaust". The song structures are not just some ordinary thrash that we see by hundreds, it's really unique and I personally never heard anything like this before Protector, which is a really cool thing to discover. Even at their debut release, the band managed to impress with its great musicianship, they brought a more technical aspect than Kreator and Sodom on their debut. But for an album of 80s extreme metal, Protector opted for a more cleaner and polished sound for that release. I can also tell that the production quality is top-notch for this kind of record, all the instruments are perfectly mixed and heard easily. The drums are absolutely insane, Michael Hasse was probably one of the greatest drummers of the German scene, his performance on the album and even the other Protector material is outstanding. There's a lot of variations on this EP though, each songs have a different unique structure and kind of riffs, making the listener a better motivation to give the album a full listen, rather than hearing one song and getting tired of it already, one thing for sure is this EP can give a plenty amount of headbanging moments.

Speaking of originality, Protector wasn't just special musically, but the lyrics content of Misanthropy is also different from what other bands of Germany were doing at their beginnings. While most bands were more focused into the occult and satanic concept, Protector was less oriented to those themes. The song "Kain and Abel" has the most interesting lyrics, especially because of its story-line base. Dealing mainly with subjects of death and destruction, mental issues and hatred against humans are also a part of the topics with the self-titled song "Misanthropy" and "Agoraphobia". The catchiness of all these songs is really impressive, it only took me a few listen to fully appreciate the whole EP.

I must say that since the time I got into Protector, I consider this mini-album as an essential piece of German thrash. There's absolutely no weak song either, they all have moments that a headbanger need to satisfy his lust of violence and brutality. Useless to tell how much I recommend such a good album to everyone who digs 80s violent thrash.

Highlights :

Agoraphobia
Kain and Abel
The Mercenary

Steady Dosage Of Blasphemous Death!! - 90%

InfamousAntagonist, July 19th, 2009

Let me start by pointing out that Protector is one of my preferred thrash bands on this planet, what makes them great? Well we have some of the most consistent instrument playing that the thrash scene has ever seen! Starting with the persistent vocals of Martin Missy and the pounding drumming of Michael Hasse. This band is a rush of adrenaline down your system I don't care who you are, you will feel like headbanging, pitting, or just going out to destroy your local city. Simply put if there was a thrash revolution against the world, you can bet Protector would be leading the way with their violence and blasphemy. Another thing you will notice is the production of the EP, as well as all the other earlier releases by this juggernaut, is that they have this perfect feel that is like they invented low gutter sounding recording which is not the case but this is truly what they make it sound like.

There are only two reasons why this EP did not get a higher rating from me and they are the very misleading and un-impressive cover and the first song named after the EP. First I'll explain why I don't understand why they would pick such a weak artwork to accompany such great music, the artwork has nothing relating to the true mentality of misanthropy as well as depicting what looks to be a cross? I mean coming from pissed off German blasphemers they could have done way better in the vein of the artwork for "Leviathan's Desire" or even "Golem", but in the end it is truly the music that makes this so great but it's a shame fellow thrash fans would not pick this up because of the shitty cover. Second is the first song, it does not serve as a nearly good enough intro for what is such a fast and brutally aggressive EP, the vocals sound weak compared to later songs and the guitar riffs seem scattered all over the place, the drumming is semi-solid but it just seems like a song to close the album so that the listener would not care as he/she has just heard some of the best death/thrash they have ever heard.

Besides those two concerns, this EP is extremely diverse which is shown from contrasting songs like "The Mercenary" to story-like song "Kain And Abel". The lyrics are of an admirable violent and hateful nature, dealing with the desire to destroy anyone in your way and how one thinks only for personal benefit. The riffs are amazing as well, done expertly by Hansi Muller, he shows off his ability best in my opinion on the song "Kain And Abel" where the slow paced and dragging melody keeps you entertained as the vocals deliver the intense story of total rebellion towards all that tries to control you. But in my opinion the most catchy chorus on here is that found on the song "Agoraphobia", it reminds me a bit of how Sean Killian of Vio-lence just made everything flow on "Eternal Nightmare" it's those kind of vocals that really take a thrash band to a whole new level. I also must mention the great closer track "Holocaust" which is such a mix of all the great things the album has to offer into one song, the bass done by Belichmeier rises to the surface here and leads the song the whole way through, truly a great song. I admire the fact that this band knows how to share the spotlight and gives each member a time to show off their ability, they make it work superbly to their advantage.

Personal songs that stood out? Well all of them, besides the first track which does not disappoint but doesn't compare to the feel of the other 5 tracks. This is definitely among my highest recommendations for anyone who is serious about knowledge of true 80's thrash.

Persecution Mania is sleek compared to this - 75%

Gutterscream, September 5th, 2007
Written based on this version: 1987, 12" vinyl, Atom H

“…eyes that say so many words but the lips are closed…”

You’ll throw this on and think it rumbles along like equally mirthless Necrovore that’s traded some wayward rpms for a few thimbles of vague flexibility. Then you realize you’re playing it on 33 like a jerk off. Anyway, on the right speed this ep with the fits-like-a-wetsuit title is an antipode to ‘fun’ thrash, six songs of Eastern Bloc damnation wrecking havoc with a demolition ball smeared in the rotten-toothed majesty of elemental death metal. Influences? Tell me you’re retarded and I’ll forgive you. It’s ’87 in the fatherland and the ocean of inspiration black and salty swirls with an eddy as big as Mustaine’s ego (no, there isn't any Megadeth influence here). Throw in some Canadian Slaughter velocity, tape-traded Morbid Angel and Des Exult, a little Possessed, a few of the more brazen Brazilian imports, and don’t forget these guys http://www.metal-archives.com/band.php?id=6728.

Mystery does not cloud Misanthropy; it’s as point blank and undisguised as the last bad guy in a horror flick. These songs sting with more downright death metal ambition than, say, those of countrymates Exumer or Necronomicon, but can be heard flying parallel to Sodom’s Obsessed by Cruelty. Any kind of jovial banter or buffoonery…y’know, the kind nowhere near “Mercenary”, “Holy Inquisition” or “Holocaust”…lie strapped to Iron Angel/debut-era Onslaught torture devices.

While much of the velocity is mostly do-or-die in attitude, the foursome show some stiff-armed flexibility, blocky rest areas where dirge-like melody sneers under the cowls of “Kain and Abel” and “Agoraphobia”. Consequentially, Helloween have nothing to worry about in this respect.

Despite their slow n’ going discovery of more artistic finesse on future releases, radar still tends to ignore these guys even after six or so original releases and a few collections, much like a lot of Brazilian efforts at the time. Are there jungles in Germany to lose your way in?

Protector - Misanthropy - 80%

stormcrusher, September 18th, 2005

Now here's a nice little piece of early thrash/death. This feels like in the vein of old pre-album Kreator or Sodom with black metal overtones and lyrics, sort of sounding like their peers Minotaur or like a German counterpart to Possessed. This is actually pretty evil stuff for 1987. Most of the songs contain doomy mid sections ala Celtic Frost or Hellhammer, along with blurry sounding black metal riffing throughout most of the songs. The riffs still manage to be memorable and creative though. This is a lot different than their later stuff, obviously more influenced by Kreator/Sodom and the German thrash sound in general before they became more doom/death. Overall, this is a solid piece of headbanging metal, well worth checking out if you're into German thrash. All of the songs are good, classic thrash.