Tankard’s Chemical Invasion Australia (Sydney, NSW)

11 July 2014 at The HiFi
The next of the Thrash Teutonic Big Four were in Sydney, TANKARD. Legends! A large crowd was lining up for Lorde, just opposite of the HiFi Bar. Where is your music taste, people? Luckily equipped with the correct taste for music, we went into the HiFi Bar and were immediately running into the guys from Tankard. They just stood there and greeted everybody, gave autographs and you could take pictures with them. Pretty cool! Didn't have that at any other concert with big bands. We had a chat and then went into the hall.

Alkira started and I finally saw the guys from South Australia. Lots of enthusiastic metal heads who had heard their music and/or seen them live had made me curious. All those metal heads were right – Alkira is a great thrash band. Old school influenced but with their own style. They opened the show with Red Devil, the title track of their EP (album is coming in October). Gregory Challis' rough voice swings into screaming and growling from time to time. Kyle Simpson, like Greg on the guitar, shreds the hell out of his instrument. Sean Grubel and Ryan Quarrington on bass and drums are responsible for the rhythm which takes you directly into moshing. Nice that I was going to see the guys again the next day.

Desecrator from Melbourne have been touring with King Parrot and Havok last autumn. Chugging riffs and Riley Strong's husky vocals with a fast rhythm get you moving. Testament, Dark Angel and Anthrax are named as influences. It's fast, very instrumental with lots of nice solos… great thrash created by the twin guitars of Riley and Scottie Anning, Paulie Tipping's bass and Jared Roberts' drums. Their album has been released last year and it's called Live Til Death.

The next band, Convent Guilt, is from Sydney but I have never heard from them. Apparently they don't play many live gigs. Which is a pity. They were awesome! Also different from the previous and following thrash bands. Heavy metal… 70s influenced. Iron Belshaw's vocals are less rough and slightly dramatic. Dario Lastro and Matty provide the heavy riffs while Iron is on the 4 string and Brent on the drums. Nice, very nice! Have a listen to them if you can.

Abigail from Tokio, Japan, was touring together with Tankard. I went inside after the break because I already heard so much sound that I thought they had started already. It was still the sound check and the singer tested happily the mic by shouting a couple of times fuck to test it. It obviously worked and off they went. Thrash. Of course. More aggressive and a lot blacker than the bands before. Still clearly leaning to old school thrash. Super fast. I learned that they have been around for quite a while – since 1992. Looking them up online told me that they have a huge discography. They are a very productive band! My research also tells me that Yasuyuki Suzuki is the singer, bassist, guitarist. Youhei is on the drums and they have a third member, excellent guitar player. There are 2 names who play live with them… Shinichi Ishikawa and Jero, so it's probably one of them. My most important question was why name a metal band Abigail and the answer is King Diamond's second LP and an evil sounding name… anyway, they call their metal Yakuza metal and think that beer and metal is the best medicine…

And so come Tankard on stage and actually stay there quite a while. The guys obviously loved being in Australia and playing in Sydney. For those who don't know Tankard, they are a German party and beer thrash band. Their newest album has just been released by Nuclear Blast and is called R.I.B. – Rest In Beer. The previous album is called A Girl Called Cerveza [Spanish: Beer]… you get the idea. Tankard are singer Gerre, guitarist Andi, bassist Frank and Olaf is on the drums. Gerre is running around the stage, flirting with girls, lifting his shirt quite often to show us his tummy – beer barrel not six pack -, consumes a lot of beer and makes really good party. He talks a lot and the show is very entertaining. For the intro we get some Spanish melody but it then goes into a thrash attack. Frank and Andi are producing a fast, very high quality old school thrash. Tankard play The Beauty and the Beer – title song of their 2006 album and then go to the 2008 album Thirst with Stay Thirsty before they play Rapid Fire from their album A Girl Called Cerveza. Gerre announces that it's his favourite song from this album. I can see why as it's fast, catchy and loaded with energy.

We then learn about the stage drinking rules of Tankard. Guitarist Andi cannot drink before the show (but of course on stage). Gerre and bassist Frank drink before and during the show. And drummer Olaf is not allowed on stage under 2.0 promille. We now go back to 1986 – Zombie Attack. At some point we reach R.I.B. and then Gerre inspects what he is actually drinking. "So we have to drink… Carlton Draught. Do you like it?" Noooo "What is your favourite?" Space Beer! Shredding is back on! After a long show, we still need and get an encore. Andi has technical problems with his guitar which gives us a nice bit of just Frank‘s bass on the string front. Frank and Gerre have founded Tankard and have kept the band alive for 32 years. Gerre often points out that he's proud that they have never given up and now can look at such a long band history. We finish of with A Girl Called Cerveza and (Empty) Tankard. Thanks for coming to Oz, Tankard!

Line-up: Tankard, Abigail, Convent Guilt, Desecrator, Alkira

Reviewer: Anja