German-rooted and now Sweden-based thrash metal veterans Protector have made their successful comeback with two marvellous releases, “Reanimated Homunculus” from 2013 and “Cursed and Coronated” from 2016, which both came out on High Roller Records. With “Live ’89”, Protector are now looking back into their own glorious past, presenting their fans and followers with a new offering from the good old days in the late 80s.
“Live ‘89” was recorded on the 27th of November 1989 at Tor 3 in Düsseldorf, where Protector shared the stage with Rage, Risk, Mona Liza Overdrive and Pink Cream 69 that night.
This show was and is special for a particular reason: It was Protector’s last live appearance with the original Protector line-up (give or take Michael Schnabel, who had only played with Protector in 1986) and with original singer Martin Missy. Shortly after having played in Düsseldorf, Missy left the band and was replaced by new vocalist Olly Wiebel. The plan had been to release the live album right after it had been recorded, but when Missy was out of the band, the whole thing was sacked. Luckily, the recordings have somehow made it into the present and are now out on vinyl for the very first time.
The track list on “Live 89” is dominated by Protector’s latest release at the time, “Urm the Mad”. Six of the ten songs were originally released on the celebrated second album, three are from their first EP “Misanthropy” and one is from the legendary debut LP “Golem”.
Formed in 1986, Protector celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2016, so the release of “Live ‘89” fits snugly with that special date. Moreover, and maybe even more important, this is the very first live album ever brought out by the thrash institution named Protector!
And how does Martin Missy himself remember that night? Did anything unexpected happen? “Not really, but I remember one thing though: During one of the songs (I think it was ‘Agoraphobia’), I accidentally disconnected my microphone from the cable during the chorus. I sang for a short while without knowing that nobody could hear my voice. This song was actually also recorded on film by ‘Tele 5’.”
The recordings have been thoroughly remastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel at Temple of Disharmony. The cover artwork is based on an idea by front man Martin Missy and was realised by André Türoff, much to Martin Missy’s liking: “Yes, it was my idea, and André did a fantastic job with the layout.” Look closely and you can read the promising billboard headline “A nightmare comes true” – but perhaps it’s rather the opposite, a dream that comes true for old and young fans, who never got a chance to see the old Protector before their split in 2003 and before Martin Missy left the band.
Now that Protector have risen from the dead, what are the most memorable things that have happened since the comeback? “Oh, there are a lot of small stories, mainly from our time on the road. But of course the releases of our comeback demo, ‘Reanimated Homunculus’ and ‘Cursed and Coronated’ were awesome!” And rest assured, there will still be a chance to see these old-school thrashers live on a stage near you. Asked about his future plans with Protector, Martin’s answer comes straight and sober: “Our plan is to continue to play live and to record at least one more record.”