The alcohol- fuelled German geezers celebrated their 35th anniversary by releasing their 17th studio album One Foot In The Grave via Nuclear Blast Records. It’s fair to say that Tankard isn’t ready to sober up just yet!
Pay to Pray cracks open this album with competent aggression and rapid blast beats, setting the mood for riff and pace continuity. Each track sets its aim to tackle lyrical concepts such as religion, the media, war and y’know the ‘usual’ social issues that thrash bands like to rant about. It can’t be denied that the melodic and guitar harmonies introduced by the track Northern Crown (Lament Of The Dead) provides a healthy contrast against the endless chugging, setting an early Accept vibe. However, this melodic diversity is the only element that has prevented me from rolling my eyes back to the predictable verse- chorus- verse- chorus- solo- chorus structures heard for almost all of the tracks.
Title track One Foot In The Grave does in fact hold the only memorable riff close to its epicentre, offering explosion and pugnacious blends of power. My favourite track from the album is undoubtedly Don’t bullshit us, a hard metal fist to the face alongside Gerre’s dominating vocals which demonstrates exactly why Tankard are still worthy of being a part of the big Teutonic thrash movement alongside the mighty Sodom, Kreator and Destruction.
Secret Order 1516 pursues to keep us merry, being the only track to remind us their love for inebriation, which I guess upholds the band’s tradition. I’m brought to the conclusion that the Frankfurt lads were under the influence of playing it safe with One Foot In The Grave by sticking to their previous thrash roots, traces of unpredictability only spur from the ideas of undermining society, rather than producing an album dedicated to the declaration of love for beer. But hey, maybe I’m a little too critical because I still can’t move on from their Chemical Invasion album (Who can’t?). Whatever the case, Tankard has definitely got big cheers from us at Invicta Magazine for 35 years of plastered thrash!