Released: 2006, AFM Records
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
Tankard has consistently had some of the best, most amusing album covers in thrash. However, that could also be part of the problem. Tankard never seem to quite gain the level of respect as the other three bands in the Big Four of German Thrash, namely Destruction, Kreator and Sodom. I’m not suggesting the latter three bands don not have a sense of humour, but Tankard has played up the comedy/humor angle from the very beginning and that doesn’t always appeal to the serious thrashers. If you were to line up all the album covers by the four bands you might think that Tankard are a bunch of goofs. The album cover for BEAUTY AND THE BEER (a funny enough title as it is) features the ogre mascot for the first time since FAT UGLY AND LIVE, back in 1991. We are not sure if he is leering at the girl with her breasts hanging out or the two tankards of beer she is carrying. Of course, the ogre is looking at the beer…it’s Tankard! Just by looking at the cover of the bands 12th album, we know all is well and stable in Frankfurt.
A few years back the band had stepped back from drinking songs for a couple of albums. They made a return on BEAST OF BOURBON in 2004 and now four of the ten songs on BEAUTY AND THE BEER are about alcohol! You might as well write about what you know! The most clever of them is called, ‘Frankfurt’: We Need More Beer’, a story of the alien who comes down and says his planet is dying, they need beer to survive so the band gathers up six million sixty six packs(!) hops on the spaceship and on the way to Planet Beermuda, get hijacked by space-pirates who steal the beer and on it goes… Obviously Tankard got their sense of humor back! However with balance the band does talk about the social condition; gangs, corruption and politics. They also have the ever mandatory thrash anthem called ‘MetaltoMetal’.
The band decided to stick with Andy Classen for the third album in a row and he makes them sound as crisp and sharp as ever. The album sees the band peaking at a level of thrash heaviness that the band had not attained for a long time. The pace is pretty relentless and the riffs are unforgiving. Even the drumming of Olaf Zissel, which usually stays in that simple one-two thrash beat, has improved with more fills, more cymbal work. I think it is some of his best work.
At the beginning of this review I spoke briefly comparing Tankard to the other Big Three and if you really step back and look at the catalogues of all the bands, Tankard is the most consistent of all of them. BEAUTY AND THE BEER is another fiery, thrash album from the masters methodically building one of the largest catalogues of thrash Metal on the planet, one beer and one album at a time.