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Released: 1995, Noise 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 our 10,000th review and 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 website 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!
This album represented a bit of an end of an era. The band had been on Noise Records for ten years and put out ten releases. There was some line-up instability as original guitarist Axel left the band, long-time drummer Arnulf left as well and the band paired down to a quartet. Tankard were joined by Olaf who has sat on the drum-throne for the last twenty years!
The booklet and title are a bit plain, the title referring to an actual pub in England called The Tankard, that is pictured in the liner notes. In fact, all the art is just photos of this pub! It is a standard 10 track, 45-minute album of Germanic thrash. THE TANKARD sees the band scaling back the intensity and punk-tinged sound from TWO-FACED the previous year and maybe sees the band suffering from a bit of a burn-out. They returned three years later on a new label, after the longest break of their career. The album opens strong with ‘Grave New World’ one of Tankards many semi-political (lyrically) songs. The rest of the lyrics are the bands weird, brand of humour with topics ranging from UFO’s, to Christmas to recycling.
Harris Johns does his usual excellent production job having worked with the band for years, perhaps they were getting a bit too comfortable. THE TANKARD sees the band experimenting a little more with different writing styles. Songs like ‘The Story Of Mr. Cruel’ and quite different, slower more groove, I’ve seen the word ‘funk’ dropped in reviews. It’s not that bad, but it certainly not their traditional brand of face-ripping thrash. Gerre sings in a slightly lower register and has a slightly less frantic delivery in his tone and tempo. The album is a hint slower, which adds the sense that this Tanakrd was starting to run a little dry.
This album was a transition and for a few odd little reasons is one of the albums that just sort of sits in the middle of the pack of their long and well-regarded career. I must admit I don’t revisit it nearly as well as other Tankard albums. It’s not horrible, it is (at time of writing) just one of the 15 (!) Tankard albums, all of slightly varying degrees of quality.
1. Grave New World
2. Minds on the Moon
3. The Story of Mr. Cruel
4. Close Encounter
5. Poshor Golovar
6. Mess in the West
7. Atomic Twilight
8. Fuck Christmas
Andy Boulgaropoulos Guitars
Frank Thorwarth Bass
Olaf Zissel Drums
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