Ale-swilling metallers Tankard may be alluding to their advanced years on One Foot In The Grave, but the German outfit still thrash with more energy and panache than band half of their age, as this – their 17th studio album – proves. The defiant Don’t Bullshit Us is a case in point: hitting home like a beer bottle to the head, it’s raw and aggressive in spirit, yet shows just how tight and polished the quartet are in their fourth decade.
“We’re fossils now,” sings Andreas ‘Gerre’ Geremia on the album’s title track, but the taught, muscular rage of that song – plus many others on the album – doesn’t back up his claim… and while Frankfurt’s finest are synonymous with old school, boozy anthems like Chemical Invasion and The Morning After, they seem determined to stay relevant. Indeed, Arena Of The True Lies – which take aim at fake news and clickbait – and the lament of Syrian Nightmare show a band comfortable with their serious side, and unafraid to rip into the world’s ills.
Put next to recent efforts by the other Teutonic ‘big four’ acts, Kreator, Sodom and Destruction, One Foot In The Grave might initially seem like the poor relation – and it’s unlikely to expand Tankard’s fanbase further.
But for dedicated thrashers, the album is a real thirst quencher – straight to the point, joyously violent and soaked in 100 proof metal. We’ll certainly drink to that.