Tankard – One Foot in the Grave album review
Genre: Thrash metal
Album: One Foot in the Grave
Release date: June 2nd 2017
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
Oh boy! Tankard is back in the game! They’ve been around since 1983 but they’re far from One Foot in the Grave, as their album title suggests! As a thrash fan I must say that releases like this always make my heart start pumping. So let’s see what these legendary German thrashers have to say about the state of this world!
The album starts with this melodic intro which is heard in the song Pay to Pray. Right after that, a catchy mid-tempo chugging riff dominates this tune. Gerre’s melodic chorus is perfectly combined with thrashy gallops. And there’s a lot of open string in this one! The song itself speeds up here and there but it’s surely not their fastest one. However, I believe even Christians will love it! The next one, Arena of True Lies is catchy as fuck! This earworm will stuck in your head for weeks! And how can it not, since both lyrics and the riffs are so addictive! I really needn't go deep into this one since it has been already released as a video. And btw, that solo is awesome! Don’t Bullshit us! is more thrashy than first two songs combined. You just can’t get wrong with shredding riffs and double bass attack. Andy Guthjar’s solo may sound simple but it’s still on spot! One Foot in the Grave starts as an epic heavy metal anthem which all of the sudden explodes into a supersonic madness! Funny thing is that this is the only song with the word alcohol on the entire album, which is kinda funny because it suggests that no alcohol was harmed and it’s still Tankard! This song is like a rollercoaster of sounds, and its tempo varies from melodic to brutal and aggressive within seconds! As many of you already realized, Syrian Nightmare is definitely the most controversal tune on this album and also the finest, most brutal and most shocking since it is about Tankard’s two cents on the Syrian war which rages on since 2011. It’s pretty sad to see what this world has turned to and how thrashers don’t give a fuck anymore. I guess they’re all more concerned with stupid things in general... Musically and lyrically speaking, this one stands out from the rest! It’s a in your face, straight forward song that will make you bang your head like a woodpecker! And woodpeckers are the biggest headbangers out there, I guess... It’s cool that at least some of the bands are aware of the severity of this war, since the number of civilian casualties is growing by the day. You can call me Achmed, I am 10 years old. Just sick!
The next in line, Northern Crown (Lament of the Undead King) is kinda melancholic at first, but then it builds into a mid-paced thrash tune. Warning: catchy chorus included! Northern Crown is definitely one of the strongest tunes from One Foot in the Grave. It’s simply perfectly arranged and the way it morphs from pure aggression to a more karaoke oriented tune is breathtaking! Lock 'em up! is a bit faster one with Gerre's commentary on greedy bastards . I haven't heard someone pissing on politicians and corrupt businessmen in a while! Lemmy would've been proud! And if you have any brains left, you must agree with Brutal Truth's song Kill all Politicians. The Evil that Men Display is full of galloping riffs and it's overall a thrashy-as-fuck tune. The guitars in this one are like a big Tommy gun, shooting everything on its way! Thick guitar riffs, double bass drum attack and Gerre's vocals is the correct formula, right? Secret Order 1516 starts with this evil as fuck string orchestra-like intro with eerie choir chants in the background. This one is also one of the finest songs of this album. And it's kinda more technical from the rest of the stuff. Plus, it's the longest one as well. Andy's epic soloing fits song perfectly. Political commentary is on spot too! Sole Grinder is pounding like a sledgehammer from the start! Your head might fall off your shoulders 'cause these riffs are in chainsaw mode! I haven't heard so many open string riffs in a while which really is not bad thing at all...
Tankard, the legendary alcoholic metalers are still worthy of your attention (and money!!). One Foot in the Grave is more than a solid thrash metal album that needs to be in your CD collection! The emphasis through the entire thing is put on catchiness of riffs and vocals as well (karaoke mode in my words), and the only down side of this album is lack of speed and aggression. I almost forgot to say that all lyrics on this record were written by no one other than legendary Andy Bulgaroupoulos, who is better known for his signature yellow-colored guitar and a Black Sabbath moustache and being in the band for the first 8 albums, including Disco Destroyer. So now that we know who was Gerre's partner in crime this time, let's raise a glass of beer to Tankard! 35 years of Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers, and 35 years to come!