Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
When you have One Foot In The Grave, that is when people should fear you most, in artistic terms, it is to raise a glass, the unfettered Tankard, to life and show that no matter what some might say about you, in the end the only opinion that matters is your own. If you can stare down the detractors and make a section of society happy to be in your company, then that is success, that is when all the fighting and taking on all comers was worth it.
For Tankard, perhaps still unknown by many who have never sat still long enough to delve between the words written by the so called famous and more commercially pleasing, the decades have rolled past without what seems a break or major news breaking item. They have just gone about their business with truth, honour and absolute conviction and in One Foot In The Grave, that moment of praise for reaching 35 years together and the principle of reaching 17 studio albums is to be heralded as beating everything that could have been thrown at them and then cheering loudly over many a beer.
It is the serious overtones that are valued but they are only as loved as the humour that has survived intact from the group’s initial tentative steps in the world to becoming surely the most satisfying of all thrash metal bands, a group not hindered by the need to sell their soul or their ethos, Tankard have proved time and time again that they put the fun into the genre, one that at times could be said to sit looking at its navel far too often.
In 35 years the band have produced great tracks, have been sublime live and in this new recording, that sense of admiration, of upheld tradition and sterling reputation is there in the open to see, to feel and to enjoy without fear of failure or of disappointment.
In tracks such as Syrian Nightmare, Northern Crown (Lament of the King), The Evil That Men Display and the fantastic Secret Order 1516 all demonstrate the critical thinking that is required to see the world with sense, with art and whether you agree with their stance or not, they at least show that art can be seen to be positive and not hide in the shadows in such sad times.
A terrific album by the band for their 35th anniversary, raise a glass, smash the tankard with a grin, for the men from Germany have once more returned to inject cool into the genre of Thrash Metal.
Ian D. Hall