Album review: THE BIG TEUTONIC FOUR – The Big Teutonic Four E.P

Nuclear Blast – Out Now.

Ask a hundred Thrashers to name the most important Thrash Metal bands in the world and you are guaranteed to have the vast majority say, “That has to be the Big Four” referring, of course, to the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax.

While posters of the above-mentioned bands had adorned my bedroom walls during my adolescence and their albums hold a prominent position in my record collection, my heart was always pounding just a little bit faster to the sound of any well-oiled German Thrash Metal machine!

Well, it looks like Nuclear Blast and I share the same sentiments on this issue, as a suggested by the release of a covers EP cleverly and appropriately entitled “The Big Teutonic Four” – an E.P that features two Motorhead and two Iron Maiden covers by the likes of Sodom, Destruction, Kreator and Tankard, respectively.

I don’t know what Kreator, my personal favourite Thrash Metal band of all time, were thinking when choosing to cover Iron Maiden’s classic opus “The Number Of The Beast” as the song’s intricate arrangements and vocal melodies would simply deem this endeavour impossible for most bands out there.Even though they opted against using Maiden’s trademark intro and Mille’s vocals never managed to reach Dickinson’s high register, the end result, though not greatly impressive, is still pretty decent indeed.

Sodom, on the other hand, must have felt right at home when covering “Ace Of Spades”. Using their well-known Punk-infused charm to the maximum, Tom Angelripper and co simply nailed this classic by infusing even more passion and energy into the proceedings.

Not far behind in terms of approach, Schmier’s Destruction offer an equally powerful rendition of  Motorhead’s less advertised classic “The Hammer”, leaving Tankard in the same unenviable position – trying to recreate Maiden’s trademark twin guitar melodies in a Thrash Metal environment, this time by attempting to cover the amazing “The Prisoner” with sadly limited success.

Ok, so what is the point of having these German Thrash Metal legends release a four-track E.P of classic covers, one might ask?

Well, apart from tempting Thrash Metal enthusiasts to part with some hard-earned cash it is a clever way of promoting this year’s Beastival – a festival which will host the first ever appearance of these bands on the same stage since their inception.

If, like me, you live and breathe all things Thrash you will need no prompting in acquiring a copy of this enjoyable effort. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a way to introduce yourself to the music of these legendary outfits then this E.P is certainly not the right way to go about things.

John Stefanis

Rating: ***1/2  (3.5/5.0)

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Featured Albums w/c 12 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 BROTHER FIRETRIBE Feel The Burn (Nuclear Blast)
12:00-13:00 BLUE OYSTER CULT The Symbol Remains (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 SHEMEKIA COPELAND Uncivil War (Alligator)

Power Plays w/c 12 October (Mon-Fri)

HELLZ We Want Rock (indie)
WHEN RIVERS MEET Battleground (indie)
UNCUT Family Blues (indie)
MIKE ROSS Don’t Say A Word (Taller Records)
CORY MARKS Blame It On The Double (indie)
MASON HILL Against The Wall (indie)
CATS IN SPACE Revolution (Harmony Factory)

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