Tank – “Filth Hounds of Hades”

dB HoF No. 152

Label: Kamaflage
Release date: March 1982

March 1982. Maggie Thatcher lords over a dangerously unemployed U.K. with a hatchet face, a controversial economic policy and “a voice like a cat sliding down a blackboard.” The Falklands War debacle is just weeks away. Meanwhile, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal is about to hit its commercial peak with Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast. Motörhead’s Iron Fist is cocked, locked and ready to drop the proverbial hammer on Blighty’s dole-diving speed freaks, spot-faced rivet heads and leather-loving piss punks. Just over the horizon, Venom’s game-changing Black Metal and Judas Priest’s mega-selling Screaming for Vengeance are poised to strike pain and pleasure into the hearts of the denim-clad faithful.

A few months prior, three lager-swilling London lads calling themselves Tank were holed up in the Who’s Ramport Studios recording their full-length debut with vast quantities of booze and speed and no less than Motörhead’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke in the producer’s seat. The band was the three-headed fantasy headache of bassist/vocalist Alasdair “Algy” Ward, who had previously lent his unique talents to punk legends the Saints and the Damned, resulting in arguably the best albums from both bands (1978’s Eternally Yours and 1979’s Machine Gun Etiquette, respectively).

After getting the sack from the Damned, Ward recorded a handful of demos before recruiting brothers Peter (guitar) and Mark Brabbs (drums) to form a power trio in the loud, louche and inebriated style of their future benefactors Motörhead—a comparison they could never quite shake. Released in March of ’82, Filth Hounds of Hades exploded from British hell with all the fangs and fury of the three-headed Cerberus on the album’s iconic sleeve. Featuring unstoppable beer bangers like “Turn Your Head Around,” “Shellshock” (later covered by German thrash maniacs Sodom) and “(He Fell in Love With a) Stormtrooper,” the record would go on to influence Metallica and carve Tank’s legend into the annals of heavy metal history. Forthwith, your Hall of Fame…

– J. Bennett

Got to get more Tank? To read the entire seven-page story, featuring interviews with all members on Filth Hounds of Hades, purchase the print issue from our store, or digitally via our app for iPhone/iPad or Android.