Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Two-Faced Shows the Evolution of the Band Tankard
Two-Faced is the 1994 album by German thrash metal band Tankard and it is their 6th studio album released in a 12 year period which averages out to a new album every 2 years. With the album Stone Cold Sober in 1992, we hear the band’s modern sound emerge. I’ve developed a sort of niche writing about musical albums. Given what my screen name is, musicians are celebrities as well and they deserve coverage. However, my coverage of them has consisted of covering them within a musical context and also the heavy metal genre is so broad. Two-Faced is the last album to have the contributions of founding guitarist Axel Katzmann. He was forced to retire from Tankard due to arthritis. Even so, he was part of an album that is not only slightly different from previous releases but it is GOOD!
The Song Called Days of the Gun Shows That Tankard Can Be Different If They Want To
Are there any really any differences between this album and previous Tankard releases? There is one example of this difference is the song called Days of the Gun. The song is much slower than we have ever heard from this band and the vocals are softer than what Tankard would use in their career to this point. Days of the Gun is a song about the effects of what can happen to a city when the rule of the mafia and gun violence have taken over. Sadly, gun violence is a problem that has plagued the US for many years. We will discuss the significance of this song later in the review but for now let us just address the greatness of Germany’s Tankard.
The Concept Behind the Album Two-Faced
Even the album’s cover addresses the concept of two-faced. The cover has an adult man holding a baby in his arms as he is smiling with the saliva dripping out of his mouth. It may be just a sarcastic smile as he is laughing. These are two phases of life with one of them being infancy and the other being adulthood. Or to put this more simply, the cover shows two faces, that of an adult man and that of a baby.
Tankard is a Thrash Metal Band That Excels in All Major Categories
Is Germany like a factory in which heavy metal bands seem to be created seemingly at ease? It sure seems that way as Tankard has added to the cultural richness of this giant Central European nation. Tankard is an example of how thrash metal should be written.
Let’s go through some of the elements that are necessary for an elite thrash metal band. If you are looking for thrash metal that has good aggressive vocals, melody, technique, fast solos, and songs that raise important social issues, then Tankard is one of those bands in the world that excels in those categories. Which American thrash metal band excels in ALL of those categories? There is none that I can think of other than maybe Testament and even they are one of those rare examples that has stood the test of time. I know that it seems that by making this statement that I am trying to be critical of America but American thrash metal has changed in some ways while German thrash metal has just been improved and redefined.
Two-Faced Is One of the Most Important Albums of 1994 and All Time
Tankard is a unique band in the sense that their lyrics focus on partying with a focus on partying with beer. But they also have covered the importance of proper nutrition in the song Stone Cold Sober. There is also a song performed in German which isn’t something fans are exposed to all the time unless you listen to the band Rammstein. The song called Death Penalty is a song that is about the fact that sometimes there is justice that is served but it is done the wrong way and there are people facing a penalty of death when they should not because the system is against them. R.T.V. is a song that is about the disasters of too much TV watching. TV these days is full of negative news, movies about excess violence and sex as some people will get involved sexually as they watch the awfulness that unfolds on the TV. This is not to suggest that all TV programs are crud as the song says but TV these days is a marketing strategy as programs filled with sexuality really make massive profits. The song has one of the best harmonic choruses that you will ever hear! Days of the Gun is a standard heavy metal tune or song that talks about the bad effects that gun possession can cause on a society as people are being killed yet the US Congress has yet to do anything to enact legislation that will combat this problem. I suggest people in the United States that are fans of thrash metal to spend some time listening to these guys and really taking in this music. You will really learn about what is going on in the world at large. Even the song Two-Faced is an important song because it is lyrically about a father that causes harm to his daughter while telling her that he loves her. The lyrics will tell you the story of a symptom of the breakdown of family structure in the US. Two-Faced is not just another thrash metal album. It is an album that has meaning, influence and the power to help others realize that life in the US and some Western countries has broken down.
"Days of the Gun"
Rate the Album Two-Faced by Tankard
Not everything in the US has broken down but those of us that live in a fact based world will know that the United States of 2018 is not like the United States of the 1950’s and 1960’s. This album easily beats other more popular or well-known albums released in 1994 such as Slayer’s Divine Intervention or Prong’s Cleansing.
© 2018 Ara Vahanian