Protector - A Shedding of Skin (1991)Release ID: 4852

Protector - A Shedding of Skin (1991) Cover
Daniel Daniel / February 11, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

My introduction to German extreme metal outfit Protector came via their 1989 sophomore album "Urm the Mad" which I quite liked at the time & that experience led me to follow the band throughout their entire career. I've been pleased to see that they've been able to maintain a fairly consistent standard throughout with just the one blemish along the way too. Protector's 1987 debut "Misanthropy" E.P. has been a particular talking point for me over the years actually as, despite being claimed by many to be a thrash metal release, I regard it as not only being one of the earlier examples of genuine death metal you'll find but also one that eclipses some of the more prominent releases of the time as well. The Protector record that's most highly regarded though is unquestionably their 1991 third album "A Shedding of Skin" & with good reason too because it's an absolute beast of a death/thrash album.

Those of you that are new to Protector will not be left waiting long to find out what they're all about. The inclusion of a short one-minute intro track at the beginning of the record was a strange one as its pleasant new-age atmosphere has no place on an extreme metal release like this one but as soon as the proper songs kick in the listener is subjected to a savage beating like they've rarely experienced before. This album presents Protector's sound as the perfect amalgamation of death metal & Teutonic thrash metal with the death metal component taking the ascendency for the most part. The raw production is perfectly suited to this style of music with the guitars possessing a face-ripping quality that accentuates the aggression in the performances beautifully. The growled vocals of main man Olly Wiebel are deathly & evil which only provides further weight to the fully committed metal assault Protector unleash here with the Hannemann/King style guitar solos generally being saved for the most intense sections of the songs too. The influence of Teutonic thrash bands like Kreator & Sodom is important as the speeds that Protector reach during the thrashier sections is one of the record's main calling cards too.

There are clearly enough highlights included to justify my elite ratings but unfortunately I can't quite get there. The issue is more around quality control as, despite not including any real duds apart from the previously mentioned intro track, "A Shedding of Skin" is definitely a few tracks too long which sees it including a couple more filler tracks than I'd like. I feel that the duo could easily have dropped off two or three of the more thrashy numbers & still comfortably achieved an appropriate run time for a release like this one but, as it is, this is still a very fine death/thrash release that almost got there anyway. Fans of bands like Merciless, Possessed & Poison (the German one) will absolutely froth over this stuff so I hope a few of you will be converted to what is a largely overlooked but thoroughly deserving band.

UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / January 26, 2020 / Comments 0 / 0

Well, chalk me up another hit on the new discovery front.  There's a lot to like here with these German thrash/death metallers as they deliver my preferred brand of vicious and aggressive of the genre. I knew what to expect of any picture of the band before I saw their promo shots on the wonderful world wide web.  Studs, bullet belts, battle vests and a range of tees encompassing Motorhead through to Sadus.  Fuck yeah!

There's enough riffs here on this album to capsize a cruise liner.  They rain down like blows from multiple, hefty fists.  They pummel the fuck out of your scrawny and pathetic existence, leaving you breathless, winded and yet still begging for more.  They are the monster under your bed, the strangers in dark shadows of the night, an army with razor sharp swords ready to behead all in their wake.

The band are excellent and balancing pace and tempo also.  For every rampant and racing passage they aren't afraid to drop a big open riff in there to control the pace as required and to emphasise the menace and threat of these thirteen tracks.  It is hard to maintain presence and energy levels over forty minutes but they do a sterling enough job.  It is a tad too long a release for the style of thrash that they are delivering and would work a little better at around the half hour mark.  That's the only thing that keeps that elusive half a star off the rating though.

Pleasingly, the band are still active today so I have a few more of their releases parked on my "to do" list for the next few months.


Release info

Release Site Rating

Ratings: 6 | Reviews: 2


Release Clan Rating

Ratings: 5 | Reviews: 2


Cover Site Rating

Ratings: 3


Cover Clan Rating

Ratings: 3

A Shedding of Skin
The Horde
The Pit

Thrash Metal (conventional)

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Death Metal (conventional)

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