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Pure thrash, fouled beer - 90%

Felix 1666, September 26th, 2015
Written based on this version: 1987, 12" vinyl, Noise Records

Twelve months after their minimally punk affected debut, Tankard returned with "Chemical Invasion", a detonation of pure thrash metal. The compositions showed a higher degree of variety and complexity. In terms of musicianship, the dudes had reached the next tier. The fact that four of the musicians contributed at least one own composition underlined this development.

The excellent artwork presented a vile chemist who manipulated his beer in order to create a strange brew unscrupulously. This utterly unacceptable form of poisoning was too much for the defenders of the German purity law. Tankard raged against this kind of beer pollution and their title track was able to blow up the entire laboratory of the criminal scientist. The beginning of the song picked up the mood of "(Empty) Tankard", but this piece was evolving into a very intense and furious thrash metal grenade. Of course, a pinch of humour was not missing. Nevertheless, the song connected melody, density and speed in a very imposing way. Brutality and refinement were also expertly balanced. In my humble opinion, this ingenious number still belongs to their absolute classics.

Generally speaking, sheer fury characterized the majority of the songs. Straightforward outbursts like "Farewell to a Slut" or "Total Addiction" proved that Tankard had nothing lost of the juvenile spontaneity of their debut. Gerre´s charismatic shouting as well as the powerful guitars and the thunderous rhythm section displayed an enormous joy of making music. As if that wasn´t enough, Tankard also impressed with an almost progressive tendency. The monumental instrumental at the end of the A side surprised with a very unusual approach without appearing lightweight or inappropriate. "Traitor", a further overlong song, proved their ability to write a thrilling piece of eight minutes length one more time. The song killed any kind of weariness in a matter of seconds because of its intensive and unstoppable riffing. Well accentuated background shouts increased the dynamism and the pressure of the song, while the high speed guitars performed rabid yet slightly technical solos one by one. The exact opposite of these bombastic songs was called "Puke", an unswervingly hammering miniature track. As short as its title, it passed by in less than a minute while destroying everything that stood in its way. Fortunately, the mind-blowing mix of the album set all songs in the right light, irrespective of their individual configurations.

The lyrics expressed Tankard´s weakness for beer and alcohol in general in several ways. But apart from that nonsensical poetry, the band also showed its political awareness ("Don´t Panic"). Despite first appearances, this text did not come as a surprise, because "Maniac Forces", already released on their debut, had also been slightly political. Well, we all know the omniscient eloquence of drunken people... Anyway, the lunatic chemist, probably a distant relative of Destruction´s mad butcher, was grinning insidiously and I remember that I had pinned a poster with this artwork to the wall during the time of my military service. I cannot say that the motif pleased my first sergeant. But I guess my inoffensive action was better than starting another world war.