Remastered by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in January 2015
“The Heritage” was the first Protector album with no original member involved. Drummer Michael Hasse had left the band due to health reasons and was replaced by Marco Pape, who had earned his spurs playing in Steelhunter and Shooting Gallery.
Protector’s fourth full-length album was recorded in 1993 at the TNT Studio in Gelsenkirchen, a town in the famous Ruhr-Area. It was released in the same year by Witten-based label C&C.
Olly Wiebel, who had taken over both vocal and guitar duties already on the previous release, remembers that the recordings went well and smoothly. Matze Grün had already helped out during the recordings for “A Shedding of Skin” and had now joined the Protector ranks as an official member, and new drummer Marco proved to be a great choice both with regard to his drumming skills and his general work ethics.
Compared to what they did on “A Shedding of Skin”, Protector had now made some adjustments to both the songwriting and the sound they were aiming for: Soundwise, the three-piece had decided to go for a purer and harder sound (to this end, Protector were supported by Tim Buktu of Massacra-fame) and the songs were meant to be faster and more furious than before. They totally met these goals, and “The Heritage” got the reactions it deserved: Protector had become even heavier, faster and more brutal than before, and both fans and press liked it a lot.
Pondering what effect the album had on the band’s career, Olly Wiebel hopes that the impression “The Heritage” made on the metal scene had been both a good and a lasting one. He surely is right there, even though in 1993, Thrash Metal was heading for difficult times, while Death Metal was on the rise. That in turn provided rather good conditions for Protector, as they had traditionally been playing on the verge of both genres and are still regarded as an important instigator for Teutonic Death Metal. Also, the introduction of Olly Wiebel as the Protector vocalist had already tipped the scale a bit more to the Death Metal side of things. “The Heritage” now even amplified that inclination, also adding an experimental/progressive touch and even further developed musicianship shown off in a decent, not all-too-technical way. A reviewer on Metal Archives even called it “the most well written death metal album that I have personally ever listened to.“ If that isn’t something! And that guy may be right. Protector had matured and were totally in control of what they were doing, not only focusing on being as fast, heavy and savage as possible, but always paying attention to the purposeful use of effects, and, most important, to the composition as a whole. Protector played skillfully with the innovations the Nineties threw at them: Just listen to “Convicts on the Streets” which even treads the forbidden paths of groove metal…
German “Rockhard” celebrated this ruthless piece of Thrash/Death as the album which should finally reinforce Protector’s status as an integral part of the German metal elite – but things never turn out the way you expect.
After the release of “The Heritage” – perhaps due to a feeling of exhaustion – Olly, Matze and Marco decided on go on a one-year break; this break eventually turned into a two year hiatus, after which only drummer Marco found the motivation to carry on with Protector. Consequently, he gathered a new line-up and tried to keep the band rolling, but things somehow had lost their momentum: Protector released another four-track demo in 2000, but there was no new album coming from the new line-up. “The Heritage” would soon prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy: It was the last proper album to come out before Protector vanished from the scene for a good ten years, until they had their comeback with “Reanimated Homunculus, out on High Roller in 2013. For the re-release, “The Heritage” has been remastered by Patrick W. Engel at Temple of Disharmony, and it will come with a bunch of previously unreleased pictures from the past.