Guess what, everybody? Teutonic Thrash/Death Metal veterans PROTECTOR are back with a new album in the form of Summon the Hordes, out now on High Roller Records. I’ve only been listening to the band for a few years now, but their stuff is vicious. If you’re looking for something that reinvents the wheel or breaks new ground, then I suggest you keep looking. But if kickass extreme metal is appealing to you, then these guys should be right in your wheelhouse. Vocalist Martin Missy emits a very Black Metal-esque sound when he sings, which blends in nicely with the music.
The opening salvo of “Stillwell Avenue” and “Steel Caravan” embody a take-no-prisoners approach, then “Realms of Crime” plays into more rhythmic territory for a bit, courtesy of drummer Carl-Gustav Karlsson. The thrash riffery of guitarist Michael Carlsson coupled with the low end of bassist Mathias Johannson help give this track not only a swaying groove, but also a wonderful throwback feel to my favorite era of metal, the 1980’s. “The Celtic Hammer” brings us into mid-tempo territory, while “Two Ton Behemoth” ups the ante a wee bit musically.
Title track “Summon the Hordes” is definitely one of the album’s best cuts alongside the aforementioned “Realms of Crime,” as the band seems to really let loose on this one. It’s almost like an aural version of someone yelling, “Release the hounds!” then they proceed to tear you apart. This tune also features hands down the best guitar solo on the disc, so there’s that as well. Meanwhile “Three Legions” takes some groovy twists and turns, and was a wise choice to release as a single, going from a gallop to a bludgeoning at the drop of a hat.
“Meaningless Eradication” and “Unity, Anthems, and Pandemonium” are pretty good tracks, but nothing stellar going on there. On the other hand closer “Glove of Love” is just under two minutes and packs an all-out punch that might break your damn jaw. Overall this is a very good record that gets the job done, much like comfort food at a bar. You know exactly what you’re getting, and that’s just fine with me. With Summon the Hordes, PROTECTOR have themselves the sonic equivalent of beer and wings at your favorite local tavern. Sure you’ve had it before, but that familiarity is what makes it yummy, right?
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Realms of Crime”, Summon the Hordes”, “Steel Caravan”, “Two Ton Behemoth”