Protector – Excessive Outburst of Depravity Review

The same week I meet Flames for the very first time I’m also tasked with reviewing Germany’s long-running thrash/death act Protector. Formed way the Hell back in 1986, they’ve been seasoning the obese for decades with a style that grabs equally from thrash and proto-death metal. If you imagine Morbid Saint smashed into a thick romesco with Kryptos and Sodom, you have the basic idea of what Protector is aiming for. On eighth album Excessive Outburst of Depravity, one can also detect the lineage of Viking and black metal creeping into their generally manic, frantic style, with a healthy dose of Immortal’s burly riffing added for extra WWE flying elbow. This makes for a very wild hunt of illegal game at ludicrous speeds as these grizzled vets try to protect the masses from boredom and quiet. For those about to get blasted into ass dust, I salute you.

The mood is set by removing your teeth via savage opening cut “Last Stand Hill” which is as subtle as a steel coffee table leg to the pinky toe in the dead of winter. It’s a thrashy, bashy burst of aggression and toothsome fury with riffs that get you moving and ugly vocals that get you hooving. The guitar-work shifts from straight thrash to the kind of traditional rocking fare Kryptos excel at, and the overall effect is like a toxic cocktail of steroids and hobo wine. This is a good thing. The good things keep coming on fiery tracks like “Pandemic Misery” which sounds like Onslaught in a tussle with early days Sodom. The blackened influences begin to surface on “Referat IV B 4” as the band rips through a brutal history lesson on shitty Nazi stuff while flaying your brain lobes with scathing riffs.1 The Immortal-isms arrive on “Open Skies and Endless Oceans” and this is a number that could have appeared on Sons of Northern Darkness. It’s a rousing dose of black thrash with trace elements of Amon Amarth, so naturally, it makes me want to pillage and burn a coastline. The simple, chest-thumping riffs are top-notch and make the trigger finger on my sword hand twitch.

A respite from the near-constant blasting speed comes during “Thirty Years of Perdition” which is an ugly mid-tempo grinder with strong black metal vibes that crabwalk all over your face. “Cleithrophobia” veers back into thrash lunacy but breaks things up with rowdy, bluesy solos that feel lifted from any classic Mot├Ârhead opus. There are some fat saucy riffs here and the bawdy, skeezy vibe is beer icing on the meth cake. Unfortunately, the back end of the album drops just enough quality-wise to undo some of the goodwill Protector accumulates over it’s hard-charging first two-thirds. There are no outrights duds, but by the time I hit the final two cuts, I’m suffering from thrash fatigue and “Shackled by Total Control” and “Morse Mania” feel less necessary than their album-mates. Make this a 40 rather than 47-minute release and it would roll up by half a point.

The glue holding Protector’s armor together comes courtesy of guitarist Nocturnal Skullsodomizer.2 The man is a remorseless riff wargrinder, hurling razor-sharp leads in all directions while generating a wall of sound you’dd assume was the work of several fret-slingers. He darts between classic thrash riffs and caustic, blackened lines and does both well. His solos are often impressive and wander into traditional metal and funky blues, giving the bludgeoning a sense of fun and lightness at times. The frantic riffage makes much of Excessive Outburst feel like exactly that, and that’s a win. Martin Missy’s vocal assaults thread the needle between late 80s death metal and standard black metal cackling. They work and give the music just enough extremity without becoming too overblown. The band is talented and able songwriters and when they really nail it, things go up in flames.

Excessive Outburst of Depravity is a good dose of hyperactive death/black/thrash that tetters right on the cusp of being very good. Standout moments dot the landscape and fun will be had by those with an insatiable need for speed. Protector have been at this game for a long time, and based on what they deliver here, they still have plenty to offer the protection racket. You have a real nice record collection here. It would shame if something…happened to it. Get protected.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: High Roller
Releases Worldwide: July 1st, 2022

Show 2 footnotes

  1. As far as I can tell, this is more of an “Angel of Death” style tune addressing Nazi atrocities, rather than a salute to same.
  2. Real name, I checked.
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