Tankard are of course, one of the ‘big four’ of Teutonic Thrash Metal. They released an excellent album last year, called ‘One Foot in the Grave’.  Now they’ve released an EP, called ‘Schwarz-Weiß wie Schnee’. This translates to ‘Black and white like snow’, which appears to be a reference to the colours of their preferred football team. It’s 11 years since Tankard released an EP of this name, which is out of print. The story goes that in May of this year, the band sang this song with 30,000 fans of the Frankfurt football (soccer) team before they played in a final, and decided to rerecord it. Also on the CD is “Forza SGE”, which is from a compilation CD called ‘Eintracht Frankfurt 12 (Von Fans Für Fans), Vol. 2’, which is from 2008 and appears to be out of print.

The EP rounds off with the 1999 version of the title track, and the title songs from their most recent CD, ‘One Foot in the Grave’ and their first Nuclear Blast release, ‘A Girl Called Cerveza’. The final track is ten minutes long and is a number of live songs.

The live tracks are well recorded and sound good. Any Tankard fan will have the two album tracks (they don’t sound like re-recordings, they just sound the same). Of the two remaining tracks, the title track is slower than usual Tankard and in general feels like it was written with the expectation of people singing along. That’s not really surprising, given that this is precisely what they were doing when they decided to re-record it. It’s Okay, but not their greatest song.

Forza SGE’ on the other hand is a pretty cool slice of thrash metal. The chorus immediately ties it to the soccer world, but it’s still a great song even if you have no interest in sports.

What we have here is a strange release, coming on the heels of a strong album, this EP seems mostly aimed at people who happen to be fans of both Tankard and the Frankfurt soccer team. Nevertheless, it does contain a couple of rare tracks, and some live recordings, and if you’re a serious fan, you will want to add this to your collection. Even if you’re casually interested and have never checked out Tankard, the price of an EP for some live tracks and two recent title tracks is a pretty good deal.

Schwarz-Weiß wie Schnee is out September 15th via Nuclear Blast Records!

Pre-order your copy HERE