Tankard - London, England 12.11.06
The area directly outside The Underworld was like a throwback into the 1980's when Thrash ruled the Metal world. I confess a tinge of nostalgia as I mingled amongst guys n' gals wearing torn denim wear, replete with patches of the greats of a foregone era and shirts of bands such as Mortal Sin, Forbidden, Slayer and the like. Unfortunately Flotsam & Jetsam had withdrawn from this gig's billing but this didn't seem to deter any of the attendees who thronged the venue. The replacement called in to open for Tankard were Apex and Nebukadnezza (both new names to me) - 2 bands predictably very much influenced by Thrash.
It's Apex who had the unenvious task of kick-starting the event. Regrettably the lead vocals of Apex sounded weak and lacked punch and convincing rage. On the other hand drummer Nathan Hetherington did quite a competent job. I honestly admired the fact that the band members, cool guys that they are, were enjoying themselves and involving the crowd. It's just that more tightness and abrasiveness was needed.
Amongst various own-compositions, such as 'Deep Sea Butchery' and 'Tha Pound', Apex also gave a weird Thrash Metal rendition of 'Ghostbusters'. This raised a number of eyebrows, not to mention puzzled look and beaming grins. Actually I quite enjoyed this number.
Check out the band site listed below to listen to some music by Apex.
Next on were Nebukadnezza, and it's a leap in quality on most fronts. Although having its roots in Thrash, Nedukadnezza's set very often verged on Death Metal. Curiously the band comprises 3 young members, each from a different country of origin. In spite of this they seem to gel together very well.
Nebukadnezza utilized an interesting vocal technique whereby singing duties are shared by the guitarist (Antonis Christodoulos) and bassist (Fredrik David Rojas) and these were, for most of the songs, harmonized together. The result was utterly convincing. Behind the drum-kit, one Italian dude called Adriano Ferraro, did one helluva job. His double-bass drumming in fact was so jaw-droppingly technical and precise.
For the record, Nebukadnezza's set-list mainly consisted of own-numbers, such as 'Total Anni', 'Thrash Bum' and 'Gorilia'. Label execs, please take note of this band.
Tankard kicked ass! Three words that should suffice as my Concert Review. Not being eager, however, to face the wrath of a Metal Strom editor (only joking!), I'll try to give a more comprehensive picture of the main attraction of tonight's Thrash Metal party.
It's been roughly 25 years since Tankard first started composing their beer-drenched songs, so one can reasonably guess that these guys are…..well…..not so young. Nevertheless, Tankard regaled the audience with first class show full of infectious energy. The whole venue, stage included, continuously erupted into one huge moshpit.
The band's set did include a few newer numbers, such as 'The Beauty And The Beast' and 'Metal On Metal'. For most of the show, however, the focus was on Tankard's early repertoire. After all, I guess everyone wanted to hear classic gems such as 'Chemical Invasion', '(Empty) Tankard', 'Alien' and 'Die With A Beer In Your Hand'.
Vocalist 'Gerre' Geremia's on stage antics were as inimitable as his sense of humour. Sometimes self-mocking, the hilarious jokes machine-gunned at the audience belied a showman fronting a quartet of able musicians with a knack for writing good Metal songs. Here was the antithesis of the evil 'n' mean Metal image we all know so well.
The unequivocal success of Tankard's performance at London's The Underworld surely vindicated the band's persistence and hard-work. One still has to see whether this interest would be consistent with sales, especially now that Tankard has just re-released the band's entire back catalogue. It is significant, however, that the success of the gig reviewed above overrides the fact that Tankard had not performed in the Uk for about 16 years. Therefore indications point towards an imminently positive phase for the band. About time too!
Chris Galea - luciferlament[at]yahoo[dot][com]
Pictures by Chrsi Galea, do not use without permission, all right reserved.
Apex - www.myspace.com/apex
Nebukadnezza - www.nebukadnezza.com
Tankard - www.tankard.org
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