Germany's thrash metal titans Tankard have returned with their trademark style combining fun humour and aggression. Looking at the hilarious artwork and giving their first couple of songs on this disc will be enough to form an opinion on their new album, The Beauty and the Beer.
Surprisingly, the disc impressed me with its neat production; everything sounds fresh and crisp from start to finish. The bass sound is amazing, as is the more than satisfying guitar work provided by Andy Gutjahr. He plays some of his finest riffs and leads in a long time, as his work on the dark intro of "Ice-Olation" attests to the depth of his playing. One of the best numbers on the album, this track is loaded with brutal thrash metal riffage, with distortion-laden slabs of rhythm guitars and pummeling bass dominating, whilst vocalist Abdreas Geremia does a great job delivering the lyrics. His singing is both aggressive and melodic - a perfect balance. Kudos also go to drummer Olaf Zissel as his playing on this track differs vastly from his more typical, 80's-style drumming on the subsequent cuts. "We Still Drink the Old Days", as its title suggests, is classic Tankard: beer, fun, humour, aggression. I love the opening bass riff of the cut, not only for its melody but also its full and elaborate tone. With great galloping bass lines and cutting thrash riffage, the song climaxes
during its amazing lead solo, which is rather lengthy compared to most other Tankard tunes, but it is very well written and performed.
Songs like "Forsaken World" and the merciless "Blue Rage - Black Redemption" are both classic thrash anthems, with zero tolerance for modern production techniques. Fast, aggressive and pummeling guitar, bass and drum combination is rounded out by efficient vocals that spew out lyrics portraying hate and fun. "Frankfurt: We Need More Beer" sees the quartet returning to their humourous side, while they groove madly and churn out some impressive rhythms throughout. Tankard have always been a very consistent band, never fully abandoning their punk roots and always adding in their distinct German thrasy metal attitude. Not for everyone, but Tankard fans will hardly be disappointed by this album.
- We Still Drink the Old Ways
- Forsaken World
- Rockstars no. 1
- The Beauty and the Beer
- Blue Rage - Black Redemption
- Frankfurt: We Need More Beers
- Dirty Digger
- Shaken Not Stirred