Tankard: Beast Of Bourbon-2004.

Tankard is a German thrash metal band from Frankfurt am Main, founded in 1982.[1] Alongside KreatorDestruction and Sodom, Tankard is often considered one of the ‘Big Four’ of Teutonic thrash metal. Stylistically, Tankard have consistently played thrash metal that thematically centres primarily on alcohol reverence.

Formation and early years (1982–85)

Tankard was formed in 1982 by three classmates, bassist Andreas “Gerre” Geremia, guitarist Axel Katzmann and vocalist Frank Thorwarth. Thorwarth and Gerre soon switched roles; at the same time the trio added drummer Oliver Werner and second guitarist Bernhard Rapprich. They chose their name from a dictionary upon seeing its definition as “beer mug”.[citation needed] Their earliest written song was called “Ray Death”, a song about nuclear war and their first gig was played in a local classroom in 1983. As drinking alcohol in the school was banned, they smuggled their beer in with milk cartons. Soon after, Bernhard Rapprich left the band as his conservative father did not want him “hanging around with a bunch of drunks” and he was replaced by Andy Bulgaropoulos.[2]

With the lineup now stabilised, the band released their first demo, titled Heavy Metal Vanguard, in 1984. After this, the band toured with fellow German thrashers SodomSPV were interested in signing both bands, but allegedly SPV retracted a deal after seeing the band perform live.[3] In 1985 they released a second demo, Alcoholic Metal, which cemented their thrash metal style and lyrical themes. Both of these demos were very popular in the underground, and on the strength of this demo they signed with Noise Records. The eight-track demo also features rough versions of four songs that would later appear on their debut album, Zombie Attack

The Noise years (1986–95)

Zombie Attack was released in July 1986. In October 1987 their sophomore album, Chemical Invasion, was released, with the album art being the first of eight done for the band by artist Sebastian Krüger,[4] followed a year later by The Morning After. Both of these albums were produced by Harris Johns, who would go on to produce all of the band’s albums up to 2000. However, shortly after the release of compilation Hair of the Dog, original drummer Oliver Werner quit the band to be replaced by Arnulf Tunn, and the band released three albums with this lineup: The Meaning of LifeStone Cold Sober and Two-Faced. They also recorded the live album Fat, Ugly and Live during this time. This lineup then folded when Tunn was replaced by Olaf Zissel, who remains in the band to this day, in May 1994 and the next year founding member Katzmann was forced to leave due to osteoarthritis in the wrist.[5] That year the band released The Tankard, which is widely viewed as a very good album by fans and critics alike,[6] and is their final album with Noise.[7]

Later career (1995–present)

The band decided not to replace Katzmann and remain a one guitar band.[citation needed] Also, after the release of The Tankard, the band signed with Century Media Records. After the release of Disco Destroyer, longtime guitarist Andy Bulgaropulos left the band to spend more time with his family.[8] He was replaced by Andreas Gutjahr, forming the current lineup of the band. The first album released with Gutjahr was Kings of Beer, which was their second and final studio album with Century Media. The band signed with AFM Records and release five studio albums in a decade with the label, starting with B-Day and ending with Vol(l)ume 14. On 27 July 2012, the band announced their signing with Nuclear Blast and released their first album with the label, A Girl Called Cerveza, that day. Also that year, they released a four-way split with SodomKreator and Destruction called The Big Teutonic 4. This release cemented them as a major force in German metal. They released another studio album, R.I.B. on June 20, 2014.

In 2015, Olaf Zissel was hospitalised with what was suspected to be a stroke. He was replaced temporarily by Gerd Lücking of Holy Moses. Their latest album achieved no. 41 on the German charts. While they have built a fan base, they continue to have day jobs.

Their 17th studio album titled One Foot in the Grave was released on 2 June 2017.[9]

Discography:

Heavy Metal VanguardDemo1984
Alcoholic MetalDemo1985
Zombie AttackFull-length1986
Chemical InvasionFull-length1987
Tankard / Celtic FrostSplit1988 
The Morning AfterFull-length1988
AlienEP1989
Hair of the DogCompilation1989
Open All NightVideo1990 
Bathory / Tankard / Rage SamplerSplit1990 
Thrashing EastSplit video1990 
The Meaning of LifeFull-length1990
Doomsday News III – Thrashing East LiveSplit1990 
The Meaning of Life / AlienCompilation1990 
Fat… Ugly & LiveLive album1991
Chemical Invasion / The Morning AfterCompilation1991 
Stone Cold SoberSingle1992 
Stone Cold SoberFull-length1992
Ich brauch meinen SuffSingle1993 
Two-FacedFull-length1994
The TankardFull-length1995
Disco DestroyerFull-length1998
Kings of BeerFull-length2000
B-DayFull-length2002
Beast of BourbonFull-length2004
Chemical Invasion / Zombie AttackCompilation2005
Fat, Ugly and Still (A)LiveVideo2005 
The Beauty and the BeerFull-length2006
Schwarz-weiß wie Schnee…EP2006
Best Case Scenario: 25 Years in BeersFull-length2007
Alcoholic Metal Since 1982Boxed set2007 
ThirstFull-length2008
Open All Night – ReloadedVideo2009 
Vol(l)ume 14Full-length2010
A Girl Called CervezaFull-length2012
Alcoholic MetalCompilation2012 
The Big Teutonic 4Split2012
A Girl Called Cerveza – Live / Among the DeadSplit2014 
Fooled by Your GutsSingle2014 
R.I.B.Full-length2014
Wildstyle – Immortality / Fooled by Your GutsSplit2014
The Big Teutonic 4 – Part IISplit2015
Oldies & Goldies – The Very Best of the Noise Years 1986-1995Compilation2016
Arena of the True LiesSingle2017 
One Foot in the GraveFull-length2017
Schwarz-weiß wie Schnee (Eagles & Tankards)EP2017
Hymns for the DrunkCompilation2018
The Tankard / AufgetanktSplit2018 
Frank Thorwarth
Bass (1982-present), Vocals (1982)
See also: ex-Tankwart
Gerre
Bass (1982), Vocals (1982-present)
See also: ex-X-Mas Project, ex-Tankwart
Olaf Zissel
Drums (1994-present)
See also: ex-Autopsia, ex-Killrays, ex-Mäthrasher, ex-Tankwart
Andy Gutjahr
Guitars (1998-present)
See also: Lightmare, ex-Creed, ex-Seventh Avenue, ex-Treasure Seeker

Past Members:

Oliver WernerDrums (1982-1989)
See also: ex-Chased Crime, ex-Darkstar
Axel KatzmannGuitars (1982-1995)
See also: ex-Nemesis, ex-Tankwart
Andy BoulgaropoulosGuitars (1982-1998)
See also: ex-Tankwart
Bernhard RapprichGuitars (1982)
Arnulf TunnDrums (1989-1993)
See also: ex-Nemesis

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