This year the big four of Teutonic thrash is being proudly represented by Tankard
. Although they are a band of drunks, they certainly are not a band of slackers. They usually release a new album every two years. Their 2010 album, Vol(l)ume 14, jumped in and out of various heavy metal styled textures. Then their 2012
album, A Girl Called Cerveza
, was a fast paced thrasher with powerful guitar leads. The album art of this new release, R.I.B.
, depicts a mad professor who is preparing some "space beer" in violation of the German purity law. So will R.I.B.
be a straight forward thrash album, or will they incorporate some other style of metal?
Gerre doesn't exhibit the singing range of the better metal or rock vocalists. But he is a very good and effective thrash vocalist. His voice ranges from whispers, speaking, and shouting with a lot of emotional articulation. Basically the lyrics are about beer drinking and world politics from a barroom perspective. War
cry starts out slow, then suddenly breaks out with fast intricate guitar leads, with hard driving bass lines which thrash melodically. The lyrics are about getting revenge on terrorists with predator drone air strikes. There is a hell of a lot of action in this short song.
Gutjahr is a very versatile thrash guitarist, who is adept to blending in other styles of metal or rock, and is able to quickly adapt into crossovers. On R.I.B.
he picks repeated note melodies so fast, that it's almost like melodic tremolo picking set to thrash. Riders of the Doom
is a heavy song with catchy bass rhythms and shows off fancy guitar work as ornamental as a German beer mug. There are a lot shredding textures interspersed with complex guitar solos. Thorwart is a seasoned thrash veteran who plays the bass with hard driving rhythms. He forcefully strikes the power chords and powerfully plucks the strings for maximum impact. Enemy of Order is a fast paced thrash song, with some eighties punk influences involved. The strong bass rhythms suddenly jump upwards or downwards in the notes. The choppy guitar riffs and the drums are played at a speedy tempo.
Zissel drums very fast and hard, with plenty of cymbal rattling and crashing. Although it's not overly flashy, he does provide a very strong percussive presence, and sometimes rises to the occasion with some surprise snare rolls. Clockwise to Deadline is a bad ass headbanging track. The bass lines are played forcefully fast, with rapid drum pounding, and occasional blast beats. The guitarist is incredibly swift and skillful. It gets downright explosive with blistering hot riffs, which seem to move through continuously. The lyrics are about the limited time of a human life, so that we need to get in as much beer partying as possible, before we are dead.
A couple of the songs are slightly too dramatic, emotional, and almost convey a melancholic undercurrent. Like how emotional drunks sometimes become after taking too many shots of schnapps. Sometimes the musical arrangements seem to be organized cyclically moving forward like a wheel. Where each performer continually has a moment to stand out. This band has a lot of chemistry and their product is very synergistic. Each band member by himself probably isn't great, but they collectively make each other sound much better than they really are. R.I.B.
is brewed with a familiar recipe of old school thrash and some eighties punk styled textures. I'd say that it's a notch better than Vol(l)ume 14, yet it's almost as good as A Girl Called Cerveza