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Brutal and full of virtues - 95%

criscool623, June 23rd, 2019

Tankard is one of my favourite bands in general. I think that they have a great level as performers, composers, and in my humble opinion, they are way better than Sodom and Destruction; however, several factors impeded that they could reach the fame and appreciation that they deserved to have.

After their debut with Zombie Attack (an album that I did not want to review due to its more punk-oriented sound, as I am not a punk fan and it would have been unfair to judge it as a thrash metal release), the band started to work in a more aggressive sound, and the result was glorious; in fact, this was their first album with a genuine thrash metal sound.

First of all, I have to eulogize the composition of the songs; Tankard abandoned their tendency of writing simple songs with repetitive structures, riffs, and the same drum rhythm throughout the whole song. Here, the songs are more varied in this aspect, as they are more dynamic. We can find changing drums rhythms that make that the songs do not become something monotonous, bridges and interludes that make that every song have something different to offer and a vast variety of riffs, which has a remarkable influence of blues sound; thrash metal is that kind of gender that should overcome because of the originality of their riffs.

The music is savage, raw, it's pure anger, an ode to insanity; Gerre's voice is rougher than in its previous album, marking a clear evolution in his vocal style towards something more aggressive; Frank Thorwarth stands out improvising some bass lines in the album, giving more riches to the music; Oliver Werner is pretty standard playing the drums, but he's consistent and a good support for the band; Andy and Axel are good guitar players and they show off their (kind of limited) skills, offering short, but solid solos (although some licks are very memorable, like the first solos of "For A Thousand Beers").

As I said before, every song has something different to offer, as the progressive parts of "Don't Panic", the magic and epicity of "For A Thousand Beers" (one of the best instrumental metal pieces of all), the aggressiveness of "Total Addiction" or "Traitor" and the funny and danceable introduction of the album's title track, you choose your favourite moment of the album.

I have not too much to say about the lyrics, as most of them are hilarious, obscene and beer-related, excepting "Don't Panic", which is a little more serious, satirizing the war and other evils of the world.

Nonetheless, unfortunately, the album is not perfect, as it sins in something very important: the production. It is true that the music is powerful and full of adrenalin, but sometimes the sound is kind of dirty, and that makes that you don't know what notes the guitar players are playing, and thus, some riffs are unintelligible, as in "Total Addiction" and "For A Thousand Beers", but if you just want to listen to some raw music, this won't be a great problem for you.

This is the second strike of a band that is full of personality and style, and I totally recommend it if you want to listen to Tankard in some of the best moments of their career. It is a real shame that the band do not perform more songs from this album live apart from "Chemical Invasion", but this album will stay in the history as one of the best (and most underrated) german thrash metal albums.