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Tankard - Zombie Attack (Reissue)

Zombie Attack (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 01 November 2017, 10:51 PM

Nothing can heal the soul better than a giant jug of beer. It came around the early 80s, school mates wanting to wreak havoc in the name of speedy Metal and a whole lot of beer. When setting their band name, after checking out the dictionary for a correct definition of a jug of beer, guess what turned out? Yes, it is TANKARD, and certainly not an empty one, an always full decanter, which is still brimming nowadays. However, since I am talking about the past, actually the first years of the German band, to be made as one of the Teutonic big 4 of Thrash Metal, I will begin my exploration of the Frankfurt based drunkards right after their demo “Alcoholic Metal”, dating back to 1985.

You probably asked why the hell am I doing this? Well, it is rather simple actually. You probably noticed that I am covering reissues of the band. Thanks to the breathing Noise Records, via BMG Music, the first three albums of TANKARD are remastered and reissued for the new generation of Metalheads to explore. Comprised of the original tracklists along with a few bonuses and liner notes, the history of the first steps of the top Alcohol Thrashing Metal band is revealed.

Starting out with the debut, “Zombie Attack”, originally released back in 1986, TANKARD’s debut with their local Noise Records. It has been almost a decade since the last time I tuned to the album, and I was glad that I had the chance to get entangled with this piece of Metal history. Though not being one of Thrash Metal’s pioneering debuts, TANKARD had their angle with nastiness. Triggering the maniacal energies of the loathsome British Punk era with a few shared values with the surging Hardcore scene of the US, along with ample Speed Metal abbreviations of the MOTORHEAD kind that loomed over various of other Thrash Metal exports of the time, whether in Europe or America, it seemed easy for the German five to become a hit.

Other than being merely the commonplace Thrash Metal outfit of the German origin, while certainly not being parallel to their counterparts, TANKARD chose to mess with peoples’ heads, igniting their music with an alcoholic flavor and humorous themes. It probably appeared that there was nothing better to laugh yourself off when drinking and Metal partying all night long. The themes were, and still are, hand in hand with the music. Within “Zombie Attack” it is Thrash and fun, simplified riffing dominated by fast paced rhythms, yet with a powerhold of fueled up soloing efforts that sent various of reminders of early METALLICA. The songwriting is formulaic per se, yet quite enjoyable. Though it has a knack to repeat itself, there are a always a few elements that are different between songs, letting you blow some steam while taking pleasure in a partially new thing.

“(Empty) Tankard” is the flagship of booze Metal or Beer Metal, a selected member of TANKARD’s top hits. There is nothing to hold back, letting the alcohol swarm in through veins, getting crazing with thrashed up mania and moshing endlessly. “Thrash Till Death” and “Poison” could be rendered as brothers in arms, comrades to the cell in the psycho ward. The former is one of the few to acknowledge that something wicked this way comes in Metal music, living and dying for the wrath of the genre, oozed up by a Punkish attitude, catchy chorus that every bloke could put in his mouth. The latter took on the shape of something between MOTORHEAD, RAMONES and SEX PISTOLS, crunchy British oriented speedy rhythms and chopping riffery initiating a rattled up tune of instant tantrum. “Zombie Attack” is a dirty rotten, putridity off a dead body, an attack on on the innocent’s mind with bludgeoning horror, Teutonic Thrash Metal molestation divination. “Chains” is yet another piece of purified up tempo Thrash Metal mania, crazed up violence with shrewd piercing soloing, humoristic in its core I presume, yet what else can you get from this band in that era?

It was the dawn of the crazy bastards from Frankfurt that brought beer and Metal to the table in a kind of manner that will last for ages. “Zombie Attack” cleared the way for its follower classic to barge in and ignite another chemical party.


4 Star Rating

1. Zombie Attack
2. Acid Death
3. Mercenary
4. Maniac Forces
5. Alcohol
6. (Empty) Tankard
7. Thrash Till Death
8. Chains
9. Poison
10. Screamin’ Victims
Andreas “Gerre” Geremia - Vocals
Axel Katzmann - Guitars
Andy Boulgaropoulos - Guitars
Frank Thorwarth - Bass
Oliver Werner - Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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