Protector - A Shedding of Skin

Brilliant, simply brilliant! Protector's third full-length release is a vast improvement upon 1989's rather sluggish "Urm the Mad" and the 1990's "Leviathan's Desire" EP in both terms of musicianship and production - and further proof that thrash was far from dead at the start of the ninties. Even though they're not the most well known of German thrash bands, Protector were an undeniable force in the scene and the level of brutality this album contains is absolutely superb.

In a way you could call "A Shedding of Skin" a German "Epidemic of Violence", though these raging europeans express a bit more variety here than Demolition Hammer did - prime examples of this being the album intro, Necropolis, the middle section of 'Whom Gods Destroy' and the intro to the brutal 'Unleashed Terror', the latter two of which are basically death metal-esque chugging, but done exceptionally well. Aside from that, this is just brutal, lightspeed death-thrash of the highest quality in every way, and songs like 'Toward Destruction' and the title track mercilessly eviscerating your ears.

Seriously, this album came as a massive (and very welcome) surprise for me. I wasn't too impressed with the band's first few efforts, but when I heard this my jaw dropped and my head banged - its brilliant. I dare say that alongside Demolition Hammer and Exhorder, Protector may well have been one of the heaviest bands to ever show their thrashing faces. Unfortunately, "A Shedding of Skin" has been long out of print and second hand copies can go for upwards of £50 most of the time, so unless you have a lot of money to spare I'd recommend downloading the album - its essential listening for everyone.

1. Intro
2. Mortuary Nightmare
3. A Shedding of Skin
4. Face Fear
5. Retribution in Darkness
6. Doomed to Failure
7. Thy Will Be Done
8. Whom Gods Destroy
9. Necropolis
10. Tantalus
11. Death Comes Soon
12. Unleashed Terror
13. Towards Destruction

Major Records
Reviewer: Dave Ingram Jr.
Nov 14, 2009

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