- Published on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 09:42
- Written by George Washburn
- Hits: 603
Tankard – A Girl Called Cerveza
Tankard is like that old jar of mustard in the back of the refrigerator; it has always been there, you rarely use it, and tastes kind of funny when you decide to check it out. These German thrashers have been making their special brand of off-kilter, tongue-in-cheek metal for thirty years now, and they have recently released their fifteenth studio album, “A Girl Called Cerveza.”
Tankard has been making metal for about as long as I have been listening to it. I was never a big fan of the band in the early days, but I never thought ill of them either. Like John Turturro’s character in the Adam Sandler movie “Mr. Deeds”, every time I would turn around, there they were. Always there, but never making a connection, I would see ads for their latest album in the various metal magazines, but rarely would I see a copy of their albums in the store. This had a lot to do with the lack of metal albums in the record stores in my area. They carried all the well known metal bands, but one had to go further afield to get the more obscure titles. By the time I discovered Rock of Ages, a record store dedicated to the heavier side of music, there were so many new things I wanted to sample that Tankard dropped down the list of albums that held priority.
Eventually I got around to checking out Tankard in depth, and while some of their albums are better than others, I cannot help but love these guys. From early on I had a weakness for German metal (Running Wild!!) and I could never seem to get my fill. Even today Tankard still gives me that “unnamed feeling” I associate with 80s German thrash that gets my adrenaline pumping and makes me want to thrash around “acting like a maniac.” I love that retro thrash has been on the rise (despite there being a lot of bland, copycat crap) but nothing compares with the original class of old school thrash bands. In the case of “A Girl Called Cerveza” I think the guys are back on top of their game. I enjoyed this album immensely.
Check out the video for the title track, “A Girl Called Cerveza.”
Circle of Chaos – Twoheaded Serpent
Circle of Chaos are a melodic death metal band from Stockholm, Sweden. They have one full-length album from 2010, “Black Oblivion”, and today we have their latest, a five song EP called “Twoheaded Serpent.”
“Twoheaded Serpent” is labeled as death metal, but near as I can tell that is by virtue of the harsh vocals. If not for the vocals, I could just as easily call this thrash. The music is much tighter and cleaner than a lot of death metal, and rather than a deep rumbling sound they opt for a crisper and clear sound (which I associate with thrash.) The vocals are harsh and piercing, which works well because they slice right through the music and make them very easy to hear.
The production sounds very good, which of course is why everything sounds so clear. I love where the vocals are seated in the mix. The location of the vocals in the mix combined with how his voice cuts through everything makes for a very vocal-centric collection of songs, and I am all about having good, loud vocals. What is the point of having a singer if you bury them under the music?
The songs on “Twoheaded Serpent” sound great to me; I think these songs easily stand up to those of other more well-known bands who play this style. All these guys need is to be heard by the masses. So why don’t you click on the link below for their title track, and help spread the word.
Deadly Remains – Severing Humanity
Hailing from Santa Rosa, California is brutal death metal band Deadly Remains and their first or second album, “Severing Humanity.” I say first or second because they have another self-released album from 2010 called “Before the Nothing.” Yet their bio lists “Severing Humanity” as their debut. I have to assume that it is considered their debut because it is their first album for a label (Deepsend Records), even though it is technically their second album. Just know that if you dig it, there is another album out there.
Musically I like “Severing Humanity.” The musicianship on this album is very much apparent, and the sound quality of the instrumentation is top notch. The vocals are the part that has me hanging out on the fence about these guys. This is brutal death metal, at least from a vocal standpoint, so the way this guy sings is not surprising. Of all the harsh vocal styles around, this is my least favorite, mostly because it is often difficult to tell that the singer is actually speaking words. Actually, I take that back, it is my second least favorite style. The worst is the vocal style where the person sounds like the demonic oinking and squealing of a hellpig getting sodomized with garden shears. This style we have here on “Severing Humanity” is the cement mixer that has become sentient but has not yet learned to enunciate words. I like extreme vocals the much as the next person, but please tell me the point of this.
While I am not a big fan of this vocal style, I will say that because of the good production on the album this is the best sounding version of the style that I have heard. Due to the diffuse sound of this style it could stand to be a little higher in the mix, but otherwise the production sounds good. I expect that the people that dig this style will be very happy with this album. Even I can support it from a musical standpoint.
Here is the track “Cosmic Necrosis.”