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Tankist > Unhuman > Reviews > CHAIRTHROWER
Tankist - Unhuman

Welcome To The Plastic Age - 83%

CHAIRTHROWER, December 26th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Independent (Limited edition)

Holy mackerel! If you’re searching for waspish yet fresh and original thrash well-versed in “politburo" topics as well as recent terrorist fueled bedlam look no further than Võru, Estonia’s Tankist and its mind-raping full-length debut, Unhuman, which features nine protean face-scrapers sure to leave an indelible mark on the listener whether they’re old thrash hands or relative genre tenderfoots.

My immediate impression of the rapidly spreading and educing riffs is that of cracked glass swiftly fracturing into a spider-webbed mosaic as they readily fix my unsuspecting brain-pan in a similarly irreparable state. While the drumming is eclectic and disjointed throughout rest assured its overall arrangement shiftily suits the bizarre “revolting n’ revolving” musicianship, from the frenzied, ever-changing guitar parts to equally animated bass lines, penetrating and piercing as they are.

Opener “Just Another Union” justifiably rants and raves about the country’s historically nefarious annexing to “Mother” Russia (wry, sardonic emoji here) while providing an egregious and vivid glimpse of what’s to come; namely, fast, schizophrenic guitar riffs/bass lines and whirling haywire solos backed by some seriously rough & tumble drumming which switches gear at the drop of a shredded hat. The nastily delivered vocals bring to mind a volatile mixture of Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies and S.O.D. (Storm troopers of Death!), especially during the weird keyboard infused punk-like breakdown three quarters into “Miserytomb”. Lyrically, I can wholly relate to the societal lambastings at hand; in an incessantly technologically advancing World which advocates “convenience or death” and where folks, in 2017, don’t need to face themselves some of the verses are damn cathartic, notably those on “Plastic Age”:

"With conveyors life is fed
until there's the planet Dead.
Wipe the forests, worship drastic
holy deity god of plastic.

You are rot!
Human slot!
Eyes and head that are hollow
is what you got!

Equinox of burning knives,
faux faces, legit unlives.
You fake you, I fake a grin:
pseudo-skin, no mind within.
Cook crisis, sham solutions…”

I was also impressed by the gang’s erudite (if not grim) depiction of the tragic – but one of all-too many – terrorist attack last year in Nice, France on “Choose Death”, for all intents and purposes a track about those lost souls willing to waywardly slay “the infidels” in the name of Allah while falling for the whole “40 virgins awaiting in Paradise” claptrap. Unreal! “Conveyor Care”, for its part, reads like something lifted off a Carcass album, with its unsavory amalgam of industrial and medical turns of phrase and word formations.

A few of my preferred tracks include “Suffo6ion” and “Waste of Bones”; the former is a despondent and down picked squealing thrasher which arduously seizes the listener by the neck with its grimy mitts until a kooky, ghostly solo gamely wheezes a sordid swath of fury coasting to further razor sharp riffing harangues topped by heart-stopping chthonian grooves laden with barreling drums whilst the latter is a razzle-dazzle jumble of upper-cutting riffs dominated by hair-splitting chops which leave me shaking like a demented marionette until a voluble and throttling about-face in the form of additional loony bin relegating leads. The irate and primitive anthem which is “Godspear” features a gripping, boxy and shivering guitar riff along with meaty, thumping beats and demonic vocals further expunging Tankist’s pungent signature vitriol.

What’s most impressive though is the fact none of the tracks are repetitive – not an easy feat when it comes to thrash. The twin guitars and polymorphic battery eschew cookie cut patterns while allowing for repeated listens thanks to all the little nuances and derivative tangents within. The vocals may be the band's weak link as they’re more or less par for the course. Nevertheless they ravishingly behoove the explosive, if not psychotic instrumentation. The elaborate death metal/sci-fi sounding closer “I Know What You Are!” also upholds this sentiment.

I’ve slowly but surely come to realize thrash metal is not all slapdash, emergency vehicle sounding leads or mayhem fuelled and immaturely vented rhythms but a form of dark art which parallels Tankist’s morbid yet modernist cover art. As far as this Estonian outfit is concerned, I can now lay claim to its benefits alongside fellow recently discovered thrashers Enclave, Released Anger and Untimely Demise. That said, it’s safe to say this release is "more unhuman than unhuman". Recommended to all metal heads!