I really don't think that, of all the bands out there, Tankard could ever do anything I don't appreciate in some way or another. Let's face it, if ever there was a "Chris Akin" band, Tankard would be it. They make the kind of metal that is closest to my heart - Thrash with just a touch of melody to make it completely compelling. And all of their releases are themed around drinking, beer, drinking and drinking. If this band was renamed "The Chris Akin Experience" is about the only way I could like them anymore. For the last several years, Tankard has been cranking out some of the best music of their career at a furious pace. In fact, they have had a new release out every 2 years since 1998! That's golden if you are a fan of any band. Tankard simply gives you enough time to digest the last one before coming forth with a new dose of drunken debauchery.
With R.I.B. (Rest In Beer for those uninitiated), Tankard takes their game up a bit from their last, someone average release, A GIRL CALLED CERVEZA. With R.I.B., the songs are a bit more ferocious. While they are never going to be accused of raising the intellectual bar (lyrics like "liver, you will have to pay" on "Breakfast For Champions" pretty much solidifies that), there's no denying that the music is every bit as strong as most of the thrash being created by the old guard today. The previously mentioned "Breakfast For Champions" is a monstrous thrasher that stands as one of the best songs of the band's entire career. Vocalist Andreas "Gerre" Geremia has been around since the inception of the band, and has lost none of his aggression in over 30 years fronting this band. Listening to songs like "War Cry", you realize that Geremia still has the fire for this style of music.
Geremia is just part of the answer to the question of "what makes R.I.B. so good". More than any other release in this band's long history, the guitars demand attention and respect. Guitarist Andreas Gutjahr is an absolute beast on this release. Songs like "R.I.B. (Rest In Beer)" start with a huge, doomy guitar intro before launching into a full-on thrash riff that would make bands like Death Angel blush. He works so well with the rhythm section of bassist Frank Thorwarth and drummer Olaf Zissel that you can't help but be sucked into the incredible power of songs like "Enemy Of Order" or "No One Hit Wonder".
PITRIFF RATING - 97/100 - It's simple. Tankard, and R.I.B. rule. There's not a lot more than that that needs to be said. If you like thrash metal, it's hard to even imagine you wouldn't love this release. Tankard has cranked out another gem, and you can bet they are getting loaded at the bar celebrating that fact.