You can’t keep a good thrasher down, they say, something that goes doubly for Thrash Metal veterans Protector. They were a force to be reckoned with in the late ’80s and early ’90s before floundering somewhat until their German vocalist Martin Missy relocated to Sweden in 2011 and reinvigorated the line-up with Swedish musicians; Michael Carlsson on guitar, Mathias Johansson covering bass and Carl-Gustav Karlsson drums.
This is their longest-standing and most stable line-up, together dropping three killer releases since 2013. The even better news is they are back with their latest offering, Excessive Outburst Of Depravity, and it’s a Thrash-tastic Beast of an album that will excite and delight old-school Thrash fans globally.
Protector – Excessive Outburst Of Depravity (High Roller Records)
Release Date: 1 July 2022
Words: Jools Green
The eleven-track forty-seven-minute Excessive Outburst of Depravity is unmistakably Protector, about which frontman Martin explains that “everybody wrote riffs on their own, which we then played to each other and turned into songs.” The album follows their system: “We release an album every three years while staying with our jobs and families,” he concludes. “It’s a good arrangement for all of us.”
Opening with Last Stand Hill, which hits the ground running, a flourish of drum work, closely followed by a driving wall of fast tempo D-beats and riffing, Martin’s acerbic yet clear vocal delivery slicing through thirty seconds later, the highpoint being the second half squealing leadwork.
Spiralling riffs, an acidic roar and a burst of frantic leadwork herald the arrival of Pandemic Misery, a maniacal beast of a track that is self-explanatory in its title and lyrically nails how the event went down for a lot of people. On a high note, there is no shortage of leadwork across this high-energy track.
The insane pace continues with Referat IV B 4, a WWII-inspired piece about which Martin emphasises, “National Socialism was the worst thing ever for Germany and Europe as a whole – never forget!” This track tackles challenging aspects of that time with respect and forthrightness.
Open Skies And Endless Seas particularly caught my ear, delivered, much of the time, at a slower and very sinister pace, the delivery very raw and dark, one of my favourite pieces on this album.
Infinite Tyranny is a searingly brutal, almost hypnotic driver that charges along without restraint. However, it still manages to have a subtle groove lurking beneath the surface, Martin’s raw acidic vocals serving as a great contrast to the sudden burst of mid-point leadwork, a powerfully effective track.
The blood-curdling opening words of Perpetual Blood Oath will have the hair standing up on the back of your neck, a singularly powerful opening to a crushing beast of a track that is well varied in pace and direction. The second-half leadwork is totally on point, too. Overall, a great chunk of Thrash.
Don’t let the mouth-harp and storm soundbite throw you as Thirty Years Of Perdition opens. Consider it a warning of what is to come. It’s a sinister crawling and unstoppable beast that gathers pace in the second half culminating in a crescendo of leadwork, lyrically bleak and dark but utterly engaging.
Cleithrophobia tackles the subject of the fear of being trapped and is reflected perfectly in the rise and fall in pace, the frantically convoluted direction switching, and the searing burst of leadwork, all added to by Martins’s unnerving vocal delivery, a frighteningly good track.
Toiling In Sheol is sharp, pitch-black, and on point with equally sharp leadwork midway through. Shackled By Total Control, with its socio-critical undertones, despite often having the momentum of a runaway juggernaut, still manages to drop some of the slickest pace and direction switches you could wish to hear. Yet another blindingly good track.
Morse Mania apparently harks back to ‘Caught In A Morse’ from Martin’s 2007 demo with Talion. Sadly I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing it to confirm the statement, but what I can tell you is that it is a superbly unrelenting beast of a closing track that packs a punch and makes you want to hear the whole album again.
A consistently good listen end to end, Excessive Outburst Of Depravity will be available as a CD slipcase with poster and at a later date as a range of limited edition vinyl; 500 x black, 500 x transparent beer, 300 x purple/ silver bi-colour + beer/ purple splatter vinyl (HRR mail-order exclusive) with 425gsm heavy cardboard cover, insert, A5 photo card and poster.