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PROTECTOR
PROTECTOR
Reanimated Homunculus
(High Roller Records)
37:35min

The monicker PROTECTOR definitely must raise some heads among our readers (and not only the older ones)! After a few welcome and well done compilations and some shared features on vinyl in the meantime, it took almost twenty years to come up with a follow up to their last studio album, "The Heritage". You probably all know the reasons behind this delay, so it's good that things are in better shape and let's hope if these guys are still able to kick some ass. A solid line-up since 2011, namely Martin Missy on vocals, Mathias Johansson (whom you might know from SUICIDAL WINDS) on bass and backing vocals, Carl-Gustav Karlsson (of GRIEF OF EMERALD a.o.) on drums and Michael Carlsson (of SADISTIC GRIMNESS) on guitars, give good hopes for top notch teamwork and high level craftmanship. Considering its reissues, High Roller Records also seems like the perfect place for these guys. It's obvious to compare "Reanimated Homunculus" with the very best PROTECTOR has unleashed in the past, but would that be fair? In the interest of respect to the new line-up, I guess it wouldn't. So let's not mention those gems untill the end of the review! "Reanimated Homunculus" shows PROTECTOR anno 2013 as a solid and pretty tight Thrash combo that is ready to last for a long time. 'Sons Of Kain' is the first of ten tunes, making it run just under 38 minutes. Immediately you'll recognize every aspect of a quality Thrash band but where classic elements are mistakenly used as ornaments by wannabees, you feel the hand of the master is at work here. Every track could be analysed from head to start, but let's jump to the essence of this review. As a whole it turned out to be a solid and mature piece of Thrash. A continuation of what they presented on the splits, only the production is cleaner (but compared with "In The Vein Of Blackened Steel"… what wouldn't be?!). A LITTLE bit too clean for its own good maybe. It widens the canvas for guitars but hiding bass this far give a lack of heaviness that would be very welcome. The riffing is overally cool and very old school, but even though the aggression is there, it could be more viscious every now and then. Leads are excellent as always. The drumming is breathtaking and a highlight on this album. Tight, spectacular and fast. Martin Missy's vocals are perfect and powerful, spiced up with a few grunts, it's good to hear him in such a fit shape! To wrap it up, "Reanimated Homunculus" didn't turn out to be a copy of "Leviathan's Desire" and "A Shedding Of Skin" what would be a rather safe choice, but shows a strong and convincing album that on one hand sounds familiar and on the other hand is able to stand on its own, growing stronger with each spin. With quality albums from SODOM, KREATOR and now PROTECTOR, things are looking bright for old school Thrash Metal finally! For more info check www.facebook.com/protector.666not777, www.hrrecords.de

Michael Tak

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