Protector: A shedding of skin

Protector: A shedding of skin

29/11/10  ||  Habakuk


We need more old school thrash reviews. Yes, and German to boot.
Guess what you’ll be served here? That’s right, Watson. But there’s more
to it! It’s actually German old school death/thrash. Yeah I
know. That genre combination has been exercised to exhaustion, but back
in ’91, these guys actually brought something new to the Kraut und
Würschtl-filled table, and “A shedding of skin” until this day kicks
most other band’s asses with sauce. Without a doubt, this album is the
high point in Protector’s career, which I will simply assume you’re all
familiar with. This is a metal site, so elitism is a must for me as
omniscience is for you. I’m actually writing all this purely for myself.
Ha ha.


9. The songwriting on “A shedding of skin” is flawless, apart from
the pointless intro (birds…fucken birds.) and one interlude. Seamless
shifts in speed and intensity connect ultra fast thrashing with
bang-inducing slow and half-time sections. While other bands simpy tack
riff after riff and call it a day, Protector managed to create a feel of
natural progression throughout the whole album. Some songs came out
more varied than others, but no song on here is subpar – which is not
true for their other albums, I might add. Some highlights can be made
out, though: The title track, “Thy will be done” and “Retribution in
darkness”, to name just three.


7. Production was done by Harris Johns, like on almost all
self-respecting thrash album of the era. The dude knew what he was
doing, and the band didn’t give him a hard time, being a three piece and
all. We get a well-balanced mix, guitar and bass work well together,
one treble-heavy and ripping, the other laying a rumbling foundation.
The drums are reasonably punchy, but only when the sound is cranked up
high enough, because obviously it’s all a bit quiet. Overall, a
predictable, solid and enjoyable package.


9. You’ll find some ungodly riffs on here, and Mr Wiebel sure was a
tight and fast mofugger on his six-string. For some reason, he managed
to sound more skilled than his fellows in the big four Teutonic thrash
bands, and his meaty, aggressive riffing puts Kreator to shame at its
best moments. “Thy will be done”‘s intro is a textbook example how to
start a thrash song, and the nasty, chromatic chorus to “Whom gods
destroy” shows how heads can be sent banging with the simplest of means –
you just gotta find someone who actually writes that stuff.
There’s neatly placed solos, too, but you’ll be better off finding
someone else to dissect those. Slumlord. doesn’t. care.


9. The obvious first step towards the “death” bit in their sound.
I’d probably call this guttural thrash shouting, and it is miles above
the yappy likes of Mille, Schmier and all the other squealers. Ace work,
hands down.


8. Audible and following the guitar, mostly. As such, it’s
elementary for the overall sound, but otherwise nothing that begs for an
in-depth analysis. The guy doesn’t even list his surname in the
booklet. Matze Shmatze.


… the drumming, on the other hand, is more interesting. Michael Hasse works the kit in full-on thrash fashion with really
fast bass/snare alterations and no d-beats at all, but cuts the clutter
with some tasty double-bass half-time sections, something that actually
doesn’t happen too often in bands using an otherwise similar approach,
like Wehrmacht, old Tankard or Exumer. I’m using these more obscure
examples instead of, say, Sodom, whose drumming is much more punk-rooted
in the first place, or Kreator, who obviously did use double bass – but
it wasn’t really comparable to what’s happening here. Kreator’s sound
uses double bass like a clean, surgical instrument, whereas with
Protector, it sounds deeply embedded into the overall sound. It’s not so
much used to accentuate (as in, for example, “Coma of souls”), but to
propel the songs (see “Mortuary nightmare”/“Face fear”). Similar to,
hmmm, death metal! And bam, we’re right where we wanted to get with
this: death/thrash.


7. It’s like a German version of Sepultura’s fragmented style at
times, and they’re clearly trying hard to produce something meaningful,
they’re just not trying hard enough in their English class. The result
is a prime example of German old school thrash lyrics. The hilarity in
some of these lines just cannot be replicated.

Certain a nightmare

has you inprisioned you can not wake

terrible blackness

nothing at all to be seen

The people sleep, they don’t care

But the future’s made today

You and me, we’re the pilots

Fasten your seatbelts, we take off!!! (tri-p-p-ple exclamation mark!)

Cover art

7. A bog body that apparently was choked to death by a tree. Happens
all the time, but the dead dude is wearing what looks like
concentration camp inmates’ clothing, which makes that murderous act
pretty despicable. Give the poor guy a fucken break!


4. I’ve cut my fingers more than once on this, trying to get a hold of the stupid pentagram.


10. Lyrics and a band pic. Partly crimped because the previous owner
apparently wiped his kitchen table with it. Actually, I just found that
you can still make out his handwriting in a corner of one page, because
he used it as a writing pad for transcribing the songtitles onto a
fucken tape cover. How awesome is that?

Overall and ending rant

As you can tell from that last paragraph, I bought this used on
eBay. I paid good money for it, but it was worth every cent. A unique
landmark album in German thrash metal history – way ahead of its
contemporaries and, despite showing signs of age, unmatched until today.
Now finally in the Class6(66)-section where it should have been for a
long time.


  • Information
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: Major Records
  • Website: Protector MySpace
  • Band
  • Olly Wiebel: vocals, guitars
  • Matze: bass
  • Michael Hasse: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Intro
  • 02. Mortuary nightmare
  • 03. A shedding of skin
  • 04. Face fear
  • 05. Retribution in darkness
  • 06. Doomed to failure
  • 07. Thy will be done
  • 08. Whom gods destroy
  • 09. Necropolis
  • 10. Tantalus
  • 11. Death comes soon
  • 12. Unleashed Terror
  • 13. Toward destruction (bonus)

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This entry was posted on June 29, 2014 by in Class6(66).
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