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The Big Teutonic 4 - Self-Titled Award winner

The Big Teutonic 4
by Drago at 25 February 2013, 11:51 AM

What else can be said about the impact of the Teutonic Thrash invasion of the early 80s? Along with the Bay Area Thrash movement it has had the most impact on the Metal scene over the last 30 years.  Legendary bands KREATOR, SODOM, DESTRUCTION and TANKARD have released hall of fame records “Pleasure To Kill”, “Agent Orange”, “Infernal Overkill” and “The Morning After”, that single handily influenced a generation of extreme bands.

Originally released in issue # 82 of German magazine Legacy to celebrate the big four of Teutonic Thrash sharing the stage for the first time together; here we have these legendary bands paying tribute to the bands that influenced them. It is no surprise that each band has selected either an IRON MAIDEN or MOTORHEAD track. I typically don’t like track-by-track reviews but this release is an exception as we have each band celebrating one track.

Opening the record is KREATOR’s flawless cover of IRON MAIDEN’s classic “The Number Of The Beast”. They do an amazing job of staying true to the original and putting their own stamp on it. Mille Petrozza’s vocals are barked out in his trademark scream and the chorus is given an amazing rush with drummer Ventor’s fast double kicks and quick snare drum hits. It breathes new life into a classic song and finds Kreator still in the prime of their lustrous career.

MOTORHEAD’s “Ace of Spades” is one of those songs that is so iconic it is almost sacrilegious to cover. I said almost because the only band to pull it off is the mighty SODOM.  If there was ever a singer to emulate the legendary Lemmy it is Tom Angelripper. In Angelripper’s hands he stays true to the original melody while also adding his renowned snarl. They keep the tempo driving and the band plays so close musically to the original but with just a bit more attitude it drives home that SODOM is one of the best bands to ever tear our heads off.

The last track off of MOTORHEAD’s iconic “Ace of Spades” is the speed battering “The Hammer”. DESTRUCTION makes it even more aggressive and turns the tempo up even faster. Schmeir sounds more like his old school vocals here than on their latest release. DESTRUCTION sounds the most comfortable and relaxed since their historic comeback album “All Hell Break’s Loose”. It would be great to see DESTRUCTION take a page from this cover and simplify their songwriting on their next release. They are right at home drinking out of Lemmy’s Jack Daniels bottle.

It is no surprise that DESTRUCTION and SODOM both picked MOTORHEAD songs to cover as they are both born to play their material. I would love to see a MOTORHEAD tribute that was a full-length record with each band trading off songs. It would be epic.

Ending the EP is TANKARD’s faithful cover of IRON MAIDEN’s “The Prisoner”. Out of the four songs here this is the most authentic to the original and the spirit of MAIDEN is felt. This is the most melodic I have heard Gerre’s vocals and would love to see him incorporate that more in TANKARD’s original material. The lead guitar playing is spot on and Andy Gutjahr slays.

“The Big Teutonic Four” is an overall amazing release by some of the best metal bands to have ever existed. It is amazing that all four are still relevant and active. KREATOR, DESTRUCTION and TANKARD have just respectfully released “Phantom Antichrist”, “Spiritual Genocide” and “A Girl Called Cerveza” while the metal world anxiously awaits the release of SODOM’s “Epitome of Torture” later this year. Hunt this release down and see legends pay homage to their past as this is a monster of a tribute EP.

4 Star Rating

1. Kreator - The Number of the Beast (Iron Maiden Cover)
2. Sodom – Ace Of Spades (Motörhead)
3. Destruction – The Hammer (Motörhead)
4. Tankard – The Prisoner (Iron Maiden Cover)
Mille Petrozza – Vocals, Guitars
Ventor  - Drums
Christian Giesler – Bass
Sami Yli-Sirnio

Tom Angelripper – Vocals, Bass
Bernemann – Guitars
Makka – Drums

Schmeir – Vocals, Bass
Mike Sifringer - Guitars
Vaaver – Drums

Gerre – Vocals
Frank Thorwarth – Bass
Olaf Zissel – Drums
Andy Gutjahr - Guitars
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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