By Fritz The Thrasher
The one thing that has always amazed me is how long running metal bands always somehow manage to piss off their fans, and become a laughing stock. However, there are a handful of bands that have been active for decades and still release albums that please old fans and newcomers alike. Tankard is most assuredly one of these bands, and A Girl Called Cervesa holds true to this statement.
Thrash metal is built around the idea of heart pounding and moshpit inducing riffing and if a thrash band cannot create these sorts of riffs it becomes an effort that leaves fans dissatisfied. Delightfully for Tankard they have once again delivered an album that is chalk full of those sorts of riffs. Every song on this ten track effort could be pointed out, because the quality is so ridiculously consistent. This is such a feat most thrash bands fail to achieve.
Tankard has crafted these songs in such a way where they vary the tempo from slow to mid paced then all of a sudden it blows up into a blazing fast thrashy explosion. This is oh so pleasing to thrash maniacs everywhere. One of the songs that really stood out with this theme was “Running On Fumes”. One second it’s jogging along and then in a blink of an eye you are then thrust into a thrash metal nirvana. This is the key to thrash metal. This is what keeps thrashers hungry for more and more.
It would be easy to go on for hours and hours about how well the riffing and guitar work was because it was such a treat, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. The other very integral part to thrash metal is the vocal performance. If you’ve been a fan of Tankard, there are no surprises with A Girl Called Cervesa because it’s the same great vocal performance that has held true throughout their entire discography. One element that is really well done was the catchiness of vocal melodies and the monstrous choruses that are prevalent throughout the course of this album. Once again with the guitar work any song could be pointed out here, but one that really stood out from the rest was “Fandom At Random”. You will have the chorus stuck in your head the first time you hear it, and you’ll be singing it in your head when you’re waiting in line to buy your next six pack.
Another noteworthy point is that Doro Pesch makes a guest appearance on the song “A Metal Lady Boy” and her vocals fused with Gerre’s soaring melodies makes for a nice fusion that is highly enjoyable. “Witch Hunt” was a nice change from the usual beer laden lyrical themes that Tankard is famous for. This song deals with cyber-bullying that happens on Internet message boards. It really took me aback when I first heard it. There are other songs that stray from the normal Tankard themes and every time they execute it with precision and it didn’t come off sounding childish. This shows the sheer depth that this album has.
The final icing on this cake is the percussion and bass performance. Both instruments had their moments of straying from the tried and true formula of thrash metal. Frank has a really nice appearance on the bass driven intro on “Not One Day Dead”. Olaf was not to be outdone with his many fills that were added throughout the album. Overall these two men strayed from the beaten thrash path and added yet another well executed element which makes A Girl Called Cervesa that much better.
Overall, for a band with a career spanning over three decades and ten plus studio albums, Tankard is as potent as they ever were. A Girl Called Cervesa really is a treat for the old fans and newcomers to the band, so re-fill your Tankard and get ready for that hangover because A Girl Called Cervesa will punch you right in the face and not think twice!
Fritz The Thrasher is co-host of the Axis of Metal Podcast and very occasionally shows up to Hellbound Radio too