Germany has a long and rich history when it comes to thrash in the 80’s. While Kreator, Sodom, and Destruction always rule the discussion, it seems like everybody has their secondary favourites, whether it is Deathrow, Darkness, or any other number of bands. The one band I rarely hear about is Protector. The only logical reason I can come up with for this is that none of their albums are easily available anywhere. Luckily, however, the band has reunited and is back to bring us more great death/thrash, meaning that come September, you’ll be able to get your hands on a Protector album.
“Reanimated Homunculus” gets started with “Sons of Kain”, which is probably the strongest song on the album. The chorus, despite being brutal beyond belief, is very easy to sing along to. The main reason for this carnage is the hellish vocals of original vocalist Martin Missy. On this release, Missy sticks to a range not unlike the brilliant David Vincent on “Altars of Madness”. His vocals are a low-pitched growl, that pushes the limit of how harsh vocals can be in thrash, yet are still completely understandable. In many other respects, this album is clearly taken from the late 1980’s/early 1990’s death/thrash realm. In “Deranged Nymphomania”, for example, the drums almost reach blastbeat level intensity. The bass drum is slightly clickier than any album from that era, but rest assured that this is not a modern sounding production. The guitars have more of a buzzsaw tone than the Swedish death metal scene could ever muster. You’ll notice this in the mid-paced, heavy chugging of the title track, as well as in just about every tremolo-picked riff (and there are quite a few of them!). In general, the title track is the only song where things slow down for an excessive period of time, but even this tune eventually picks up the speed as it launches into a Slayer and Kreator-inspired guitar solo. Fear not, however, as the soloing also makes use of a more standard, style of playing, such as in “Birth of A Nation”.
Protector may not be the most popular band around, but this release will definitely turn some heads. Any fan of that fantastic transitional phase between death and thrash metal will love this album. While I don’t feel that all of the songs are necessarily as developed or memorable as they could be, it’s still very easy to get into “Reanimated Homunculus”. The production alone will draw in plenty of fans, and these riffs will keep you coming back to this album for quite a while!
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"Sons of Kain"
"Birth of A Nation"
4.1/5 or 82%.
Written by Scott