Written by: EW on 15/12/2008 23:54:18

Inexplicably Tankard have remained anomalous to all but those who have worshipped at the altar of thrash for some considerable time now. You will frequently hear utterance of the German 'Big Three Thrash' bands (Kreator, Sodom and Destruction) and while all three are without doubt brilliant bands, the omission of Tankard has always bemused me - "Chemical Invasion" is one of the best thrash albums I've ever heard. But nevermind, they don't seem to care reveling in their underground status, as long as there is plenty of that magical juice of Satan's nipple involved - bier.

With the widely renowned 'difficult 13th album' on the horizon for Tankard how have they pulled this off? Well, let me tell you, for a band so long into their career they don't sound tired or out of ideas and the idolisation of these old-schools by the new generation is fully justified. For a band at such a stage of their career, and for one as light hearted as Tankard they have never been about reinventing the wheel or displaying ground-breaking new ideas but there a number of tracks that have the fortune of sounding recognisably Tankard. Album opener "Octane Warriors", though not without it's similarities to Slayer, sets the scene for a fun-filled 45 mins of mid-paced (by thrash standards) catchy riffage that save for some cringeworthy children's chorusses in "When Daddy Comes To Play" and "Sexy Feet Under" is hard to pick holes in. The album's video song "Stay Thirsty" has all the elements of a classic "Ride The Lightning"-era song, but with precisely none of the seriousness or dedication to the craft that Metallica possessed back in the mid 80s. "Myevilfart", the owner of one of the greatest lyrics ever sung in metal ("The burning flame of power/ My evil fart!") has all the fun that someone singing something so ridiculous should be having while "Echoes of Fear" has the kind of groove Destruction have intermittently shown over their past few albums and a headbanging chorus riff to boot.

If you've read this far and are expecting something to rival Tankard's harder, faster, louder or more extreme brothers of thrash from Germany and beyond you've completely missed the point. I'm often critical of bands that display a jokey demeanour for good reason as the music usually conveys a similarly sloppy attitude but on "Thirst" Tankard have a near-perfect balance of what makes them so essential for any thrasher. To beer!


Download: Stay Thirsty, Echoes Of Fear, Octane Warriors, Zodiac Man
For The Fans Of: Destruction, Gama Bomb, Bonded By Blood
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 19.12.08
AFM Records

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