Album review: TANKARD – Hymns For the Drunk

TANKARD - Hymns For the Drunk

AFM Records [Release date 12.01.18]

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until I’m tits up and in the ground: Germany has produced some of the best Metal bands around. From so many varying sub genres, the German Metal scene is a smorgasbord of the bands that have shaped and molded the global Metal world.

Their names go from the household variety (Scorpions and Accept to name two) to known predominantly in their respective genre. While the world knows of the Big Four of Thrash, there is another contingency of Thrash Metal titans hailing from the Germanic lands. Kreator, Destruction, and Sodom are generally the most widely known of the German Big Four, but just as integral to this style is the band Tankard.

For an astounding 35 years (the band was formed in 82 though their first release didn’t come out until 1986,) Tankard have doled out their fast paced homages to the glories of alcohol through 17 albums, and are showing no signs of stopping.

AFM Records is releasing, around the beginning of 2018, a fantastic collection of tracks culminating their arrival to the label in 2002 to their final album with them in 2010. Much like bands with as much history as Tankard has, they’re most known for their early albums, but as demonstrated here on Hymns For the Drunk (Best of Tankard) the AFM years were just as important musically for the band as those prior and after.

Though lyrically their tongue is firmly planted in cheek (not to say that the guys aren’t avid lovers of beer and other assorted adult beverages, but yeah they have a knack for some fantastic humor in the songs) the music has always been taken seriously by its members.

Totally aggressive and delivered in a hyper frenzy, their songs have always been true to the thrash metal sound. Without a doubt tracks like “Zombie Attack” and “(Empty) Tankard” from their early days and “Die With A Beer In Your Hand,” and “Slipping From Reality” from later on, prove why Tankard are a major player in the Thrash world.

With their legacy already secured from their groundbreaking early albums, it’s great to see them still full of so much more music to give to their fans, new and old. Greatest Hits albums tend to be contract fulfillers and I would usually pass over giving them a whirl (especially a band I have followed already for ages,) but it was nice to revisit this period in time of such a fantastic band.

Hymns For the Drunk is just that: a celebration of a brief 8 year time for such a lengthy career (plus a couple tracks that have an older history,) compiling some of their best material from this oft overlooked Thrash great. This is the perfect way for new fans to check out the band (though I would highly encourage you to seek out their earlier albums like The Morning After and Chemical Invasion if this collection tickles your fancy.) ****

Review by Chris Martin

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