Review Summary: Perfectly accurate title for a brutal, merciless musical outburst.
Oh Germany! Home of good beer, quality soccer, and one of the richest and most vital metal scenes of the whole world. From classic heavy metal, to power/speed, to even the more progressive genres this country managed to raise musical formations that easily rival their both their European and their American peers as well. The Teutonic thrash metal scene is no expectation as well, and f somebody moves away from the Big Four of Kreator-Sodom-Destruction-Tankard, can find smaller, lesser known but equally talented and exciting groups as well. Protector is exactly one of these bands, whom despite never making it really big, managed to mantain a devoted cult following, thanks to such hard-hitting onslaughts like “Golem”, “A Shredding of Skin” or “The Heritage”.
Thrash has never been relaxing, but Protector characterized an even more violent and extreme side of the genre with its raw, distorted sound, fast paced, tremolo picking-driven riffing and more guttural vocals, putting on the thin line that separates thrash and death metal. They pretty much kept the spirit of the early Kreator and Sodom recordings, but pushed the envelope even further, and their first release, 1987’s “Misanthropy” is a perfect genesis of the band career.
The opening title track beginns with some B movie horror synths and some demonic voiceover, might divides our attention, but than suddenly the band delivers the facepunch, with devastating riffing. The compositions might not be too complex, but the sheer raw aggression and energy within the fast paced riffing gives all the songs enough power to knock us out. One of the most characteristic angle of the songs is the abrupt time and tempo signature changes, from the rather mid-paced thrash riffs to the chaotic, swirling patters where the speed is pushed to the max by Michael Hasse’s machine gun-like blast beats. Luckily the EP never becomes a dull exercise of chopping thanks to the effective variation in the riffing, with guitarist Hansi Müller and his mates knowing when to deliver the crucial bridges and breaks.
The manic, primitive but efficient death/thrash rhythms are accompanied with equally hyperactive guitar solos which are more about cranking out the whammy bar and hitting many notes as possible, than actual musicality but that suits well for the songs, as well as the unpolished, thick production. From the six songs, most of them are in the fast paced assault league, but “Kain and Abel” shows a different side of the band with its slower, and more sinister fretwork, making it a haunting sonic representation of hell on Earth. Also if there is one thing I cannot overlook, than it’s the vocals of Martin Missy. His bone-chilling deep guttural shouting and demonic intensity are highly reminiscent of Possessed’s Jeff Beccera, which blurs the genres even further and forms the band’s identity.
“Misanthropy” is pretty much a rough diamond in the mix, with enough viciousness, darkness and intensity to satisfy and energize metalheads, but also shows the sings for improvement, which opportunities the band fortunately used up. This a fine start but just like in the case of Sepultura's early stuff it’s a hint for the bigger and better things to come.