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The 5 Essential TANKARD Albums

These hard-drinking teutonic terrors of thrash need no introduction and with an almost unfathomable 18 studio albums over an incredible 40 year career to choose from, we had a hard time whittling ’em down to, what we believe to be, Tankard‘s 5 essential albums….

5. Zombie Attack (1986)

Tankard – Zombie Attack (1988, CD) - Discogs

With Tankard’s simple formula cemented from the get-go (a formula that they’ve barely deviated from), their potent brew of light speed thrash, beer, whiskey, parody and partying hard began in earnest on Zombie Attack and the world was introduced to the finest drinking/party thrash band on the planet.

Home to the thrash classic “(Empty) Tankard”, the remaining 9 tracks on Zombie Attack are just as urgent, just as infections and, frankly, just as timeless in 2023.

While they were perceived as a bit of a joke at this stage in their career, it’s important to note that Zombie Attack didn’t just lurch into view, it sprinted straight at you with eyes-bloodshot, teeth-gnashing and pint glasses raised….Tankard had arrived!

4. The Tankard (1995)

True Tankard fans often rate The Tankard as the German stalwarts most under-appreciated album…and for bloody good reason!

Containing the most diverse set of songs of the German’s nearly 40 year career, The Tankard may not be as instantly infectious as their classics Chemical Invasion and The Morning After but it arguably contains the finest songs these Teutonic beer-lovin’ terrors have ever penned (or regurgitated). From the insanely catchy chorus of “Minds On The Moon” to the punky tempos of “Close Encounter“, Tankard’s 7th album may still be the most streamlined and immediately accessible of their entire career.

The fact they delivered their most complete album slap bang in the middle of a decade that didn’t give a fuck about thrash proves their commitment to the cause. Tankard will always thrash; they’re as reliable as the result of mixing grain, hops, yeast and water!!

3. The Beauty And The Beer (2006)

2006’s The Beauty And The Beer found these thrash stalwarts building on the goodwill garnered by B-Day (2002) and Beast Of Bourbon (2004) and delivering not only their finest album of the 00’s….but one of the finest albums of their entire career.

The borderline experimental “Ice-olation” could very well be the finest opening track of any Tankard album and, when backed up by the satisfying crunch and fiendish melody of the likes of “Forsaken World”, you’re already onto a winner! With humour very much intact, Tankard weren’t exactly breaking new ground with their 12th studio album but they were showing the majority of their peers how thrash could still sound in 2006. And that sound was THRASHY! It’s quite simple, really. Just go listen to that shit-kicking riff at the 46 second mark of “The Beauty And The Beast” and try denying that a well-executed chug isn’t still the most satisfying thing on the planet.

Tankard “Still Drink the Old Ways” and they still thrash the old ways…. which is all we can ever ask of them!

2. The Morning After (1988)

Tankard - The Morning After | Releases | Discogs

At this stage, Tankard were a force to be reckoned with and their name was finally being uttered in the same breath as their German brethren in KreatorSodom and Destruction.

With The Morning AfterTankard’s sense of fun was amplified but so was there technical proficiency. These guys were improving at a rate of knots (despite the inebriation) and the likes of  “Commandments” shamed even Slayer in the speed stakes.

Tankard were fast becoming one of thrash metal’s most violent acts but there was still fun to be had. The frenetic likes of “Shit-Faced” and the title-track reinforced Tankard’s credentials as a party band to be reckoned with but their standing in thrash circles was only increasing with each release.

Notably punk in flavour, this relentless little shit of an album will still leave you with a head-banging hangover regardless of whether you sank 10 pints the night before!

1. Chemical Invasion (1987) 

Tankard – Chemical Invasion (1987, Vinyl) - Discogs

Ww firmly believe that Tankard are the German equivalent of New Jersey’s Overkill; both bands taking the honour of being the most consistent and productive thrash bands of their respective continents.

Tankard have never strayed from their beer and whiskey soaked path but they are much more than a mere gimmicky joke band and Chemical Invasion is the one album to prove their incredible importance to the Teutonic thrash scene.

Like the mad scientist depicted on the album artwork, Tankard throw everything into their heady brew of intense drumming, barely controlled riffs and histrionic vocals. Seemingly just one more drink away from careening out of control entirely, Tankard’s hellish fury occasionally calms, the open acoustic guitar strum of “For A Thousand Beers” providing ample proof that these guys could play and they could play well.

Chemical Invasion is an album that demands to be listened to drunk with the room spinning and projectile puke just one more whirlwind head-bang away…. true party thrash!

Tankard discography:

Zombie Attack (1986) / Chemical Invasion (1987) / The Morning After (1988) / The Meaning Of Life (1990) / Stone Cold Sober (1992) / Two-Faced (1994) / The Tankard (1995) / Disco Destroyer (1998) / Kings Of Beer (2000) / B-Day (2002) / Beast Of Bourbon (2004) / The Beauty And The Beer (2006) / Thirst (2008) / Vol(l)ume 14 (2010) / A Girl Called Cerveza (2012) / R.I.B (2014) / One Foot In The Grave (2017) / Pavlov’s Dawgs (2022)

Also in this Series:

The 5 Essential ANTHRAX Albums


The 5 Essential HELLOWEEN Albums

The 5 Essential MEGADETH Albums

The 5 Essential OVERKILL Albums

The 5 Essential PESTILENCE Albums

The 5 Essential PROTECTOR Albums

The 5 Essential SAXON Albums

The 5 Essential SLAYER Albums

The 5 Essential TESTAMENT Albums

About Chris Jennings (1986 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

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