These teutonic terrors of thrash have been cult legends for 4 decades and with 8 studio albums to choose from we had a hard time whittling ’em down to, what we believe to be, Protector‘s 5 essential albums….
5. Golem (1988)
Easily as heavy (heavier even) than anything released by Kreator, Destruction, Sodom etc at the time, Protector‘s debut album was the sound of the German thrash underground at its most corrosive and most frightening.
A relentless barrage of hyperactive, hyper-speed death / black / thrash riffs greeted those of us brave enough to embrace this sort of filth and an instant cult classic debut was born. Golem‘s blackened thrash attack was necro-enough to appeal to early Sodom, early Destruction and Possessed fans, and while the likes of Kreator were courting MTV, Protector were keeping the underground flame alive.
The ranking of this album will irk many (some will no doubt claim that it deserves top 3 status), but time has not been quite so kind to Golem‘s relatively rudimentary charms as nostalgia will probably lead you to believe. It still kicks almighty ass though!
4. Excessive Outburst Of Depravity (2022)
Protector‘s most recent release was a savage shock to the system that proved, once and for all, that Protector were a band more than equipped to survive in the third decade of their existence.
A true necro-blast of thrashing filth and bile, here was a band whose veteran status did little to hide the rampaging hunger that still niggles at their charred souls. An excessive outburst this most definitely is, with wave after wave of sickle sharp riffs and undulating rhythms – not to mention a fine vocal performance from Martin “Golem” Missy – slashing and hacking their way through 11 tracks of blistering blackened death / thrash.
On this evidence, Protector are well and truly here to stay!
3. The Heritage (1993)
With their 3rd album, The Heritage, Protector paid homage to their own legacy while managing to release a quality thrash album in 1993 – a time, if you recall, when thrash had all but died on its arse.
As ferociously frantic as ever, Protector’s deathly leanings remained rampant and the band had lost none of the vicious bite that made A Shedding of Skin and Urm The Mad so damn appealing.
From the opening salvo of “Mental Malaria” and “Scars Bleed Life Long” sprang death / thrash of the highest order – informed as much by Deicide as Kreator and Destruction – and the pedigree of this late in the day thrash opus was clear to hear. The Heritage would prove to be Protector‘s heyday swan-song – not a bad way to go out we would wager!
2. Urm The Mad (1989)
A full-on death / thrash onslaught, Protector’s 2nd album, Urm The Mad, remains a shockingly visceral experience….but one that comes laced with groove and an endless parade of often mid-tempo, skull-crushing riffs.
“Sliced, Hacked and Grinded” perfectly encapsulated Protector’s deathly leanings, while “Nothing Has Changed” indicated a propensity for death / doom’s oppressively heavy approach. However, Protector were still a thrash band at heart and when the hyper-speed of “Quasimodo” hits, you’ll still be left reeling.
Urm The Mad is quite simply one of the greatest death / thrash albums you’re ever likely to hear!
1. A Shedding Of Skin (1991)
Protector’s 3rd album, A Shedding Of Skin, experimented wildly with daringly diversified dynamics and pacing while still remaining resolutely committed to stripping skin from bone!
Comprised of 13 snarling, slashing tracks originally produced by master Producer Harris Johns(famed for producing classic albums by Kreator, Voivod, Sodom amongst many others), A Shedding Of Skin may sound slightly antiquated over thirty years later but, in 1991, Protector had harnessed the perfect blend of thrash heaviness and death metal intensity…..resulting in an album of considerable force.
If Testament’s dalliances with death metal on the underrated Demonic caused you to suffer from involuntary liquid explosions then A Shedding Of Skin will require you to be hospitalised with dehydration. Barring a few moments of slower-paced bruising on tracks such as “Death Comes Soon” and “Thy Will Be Done” this blasts harder than ten-tonnes of dynamite down a mine-shaft and should be revered as a progressive death/thrash masterclass from one of the most consistently reliable bands in German thrash history.
Golem (1988) / Urm The Mad (1989) / A Shedding Of Skin (1991) / The Heritage (1993) / Reanimated Homunculus (2013) / Cursed and Coronated (2016) / Summon The Hordes (2019) / Excessive Outburst Of Depravity (2022)
Also in this Series: