1. Under Friendly Fire
2. Slipping From Reality
3. Genetic Overkill
4. Die With A Beer In Your Hand
5. The Horde
6. Endless Pleasure
7. Dead Men Drinking
8. Alien Revenge
9. Fistful Of Love
10. Beyond The Pubyard
11. We’re Coming Back
Andreas “Gerre” Geremia - vocals
Olaf Zissel - drums
"Beast of Bourbon" tankard
engineering and mixing by producer Andy Classen - cover artwork by Sebastian Krüger
review by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____
A Thrash in old school and up-to-dated instrumental technique like i was not listening to since long! Care in every detail concerning production, enthralling and energizing concerning execution and ideas. It will appeal to many old Metallica (Kill'em all and Ride the Lightening era ) and Testament fans but also to the new generations cause Tankard are fresh, aggressive, explosive, fluid, providing a waterfall of notes and "killing" instincts. Total headbanging, and total impact!
Energizer Tankard! Beyond any other consideration about the excellent Thrash proposed by this album, i'd like to underline an amazing characteristic of Beast of Bourbon. It is better than a glass of bourbon , better than coffee and tea and even better than ..beer, in its way to offer a revitalizing and tonic charge. Every time i saw Tankard live and every time i listened to their previous releases i already received a lot of positive energy, but Beast of Bourbon has exceeded all expectations, being the first case of "music therapy" i am personally 100% sure about, and that i feel it's right to suggest. Music gives emotions, after all it is a particular kind of language, and these emotions can be differently filtered by each of us, but there are anyway general convergences: some music is universally known for cheering up during moments of sadness, some other makes us be depressed, some other again makes our blood run faster. But Beast of Bourbon is fully tonifying, it gives us a charge, but no charge in excess, it makes us more self confident, not necessarily good mooded, cause there is also a certain bitterness in Tankard's lyrics, lyrics that make us think , in spite of their irony, but it makes us less anxious. For example, at the sound of Slipping From Reality there is no problem that appears insuperable, no meeting that appears boring , no study that can appear difficult, and , i imagine, no future mother-in-law that appears intractable! Listen to it! and in general to the whole album, and afterwards, like a kind of magic, you will feel better with yourself and the world. I don't know how it is possible , but Tankard's solid and lively thrash , with its catchy but not too simple loops, , with its perseverance and coherence of action throughout all tracks, very obviously activates our capacity to act and re-act .
From a technical point of view, both considering technique and creativity, in its genre, i find this album flawless, and if you could object that you notice, here and there, that drums and strings slightly anticipate vocals, you must admit that 1) it's Tankard style 2) that at Tankard's camp drumming "dictates" the beat (in few words, it makes its job!) and rhythmic perfectly fits in. The peculiar feature is that all songs are switched to an effective enjoyable involving uptempo without trace of tiredness, remaining high all time long without being repetitive or boring. The succession of tracks is fluid without drops of tension. You will like every song , some of them are actually additive. If you love Thrash you can be only satisfied. Tankard are not shocking , and not hyperfast and very violent like Dew Scented (another brilliant German band, whose sound i hope can make Slayer go and die for good). But Tankard are anyway fast and agile, energetic, heavy in midtempo, relentless, unstoppable, always agreeable. It's pressing Old School-Thrash rhythmic that supports fresh riffs while the solid run-in ability supports enthusiast dynamics. Everything is done in a way that the head-banging "spring" natural, easy, fluent . Gerre's vocals are always sharp-cut supported by 3 musicians with whom every frontier of Thrash is technically possible. An exact skill drummer , versatile and resolute guitarist and an impeccable bass. "Beast of Bourbon" not only maintains the awesome level of playing and production shown by "B_Day", but it shows that the self- confidence of the band is more and more mature and complete: in few words Tankard can be definitively counted among the "Big's".
Concerning tracks in specific, let's begin with 3 amazing gems: the best among the best: Endless Pleasure and Slipping from Reality (both available in radio/club version too, versions that never loose in genuine aggressiveness) and Die with a Beer in your Hand.
Track 6, Endless Pleasure, is simply intense: the verse, with old Metallica harmonic sonorities, is a bit thoughtful , but fascinating; The refrain shoots a short overwhelming uptempo burst of notes which are unforgettable: they reach ear and brain immediately . The refrain provides the musical focal point repeating the lyrics with title and hook. The bridge is pure enthralling thrash riffing. This song has a clear vein of sorrow, and i think it deals with the theme of drug -abuse and the false deadly sense of power hard drugs give , but it's incredible how everything turns into a positive vibe of re-action, increasing our level of dopamine without artificial and dangerous chemistry.
Slipping from Reality is a fast devastating powerful lashing of class, an aggressive pushing and pressing : an animated rhythm with killing riffing and with another unforgettable refrain , a certain American Rock touch is detectable. Incredibly agreeable the harmonic mid tempo bridge with an enchanting lead guitar.
Die with a Beer in your Hand is a song i
like in the same measure i like Metallica's Creeping Death, so i have
told everything. It delivers the same impending
feeling and atmosphere, the apparent ironic mask offered
by lyrics which exalt very earthly desires and the incisive
fast/thunderous tempo cannot hide a sense of different meaning .
The refrain provides a hammer hook sung in rhyme - Die my
Friend - Because this is the end - Make a final stand and die with a
Beer in your hand-, galloping and melodic contents
intertwine and interact, while the words "After the Demons
have been fought back into Hell - Howls in the Night - A Pack of Wolves
surround me -Reborn in Steel, it´s time to fight" are the
key of the picture.
I am a Cowboy from up ´nigh
The verse of "Genetic Overkill" ("blessed be biotechnology!") has a great bass -overture that launches killing riffs, that live a life of their own due to the many but enjoyable and agreeable tempo changes: variety in a perfect logic ride. Vocals are angrier and screaming, while drums are spectacular . Genetic Overkill has even an obsessive face.
The Horde provides a thunderous protagonist double bass drumming and a devastating attack: it's a bomb, which delivers also vocals in echo and a huge work done by all strings: the bass in particular is called to a very hard task. Mission completed.
Dead Men Drinking is an exasperated nervous non -stop of assaults with a good guitar solo. This track shows how Thrash is strictly connected with Death. It fades then into its hungry "brother", Alien Revenge, without letting you even the time to take a breath . These 2 tracks represent the more brutal moment suitable for the "Soldiers of Metal". Fistful of Love is thunderous and reverberating, somehow bombastic and sometimes a bit dissonant. It has much of erratic rhythm and could act as connection to Death from one side, and to a certain punk-ish proceeding , at the other part of the spectrum, without neglecting a certain melodic flavor. It is a very ambitious song with various Thrash influences. Beyond the Pubyard perfectly keeps up the good work with tons of aggression and pushing punk-y vividness, an obsessive claustrophobic refrain and guitar virtuoso's.Finally a cover version of British punk rockers Cocksparrer close this album, and, damn!, after the authentic wild rodeo provided by the last part of the album, this song radiates an awesome lovely friendly smile. It's mythical, cause the thrash-y rocking rhythmic work hard in the background, combined with a guitar that, more slowly, draws the notes in British style, making a kind of enthralling contrast. Gerre's vocals sound really rasping but extroverted, like they would really transmit that final alcoholic touch.
\m/Take this virtual beer, ...pardon... bourbon, and be (re)-active!!
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