Three years ago at a moderately attended DRI gig in the band’s hometown of Göttingen, the members of Germany’s Übergang met and planted the seed for the thrash/crossover outfit they would form a year later. As the thrash renaissance had already come and gone and, at very few points, had strict Teutonic representation, the quintet found itself playing music with very definite roots in both 80’s thrash and their own upbringings. The band’s debut album, Zeichen der Zeit dips its fingers into all the brand name thrash of the glory days while adding the rough and ready edge of new school purveyors like Iron Reagan and Power Trip and remaining true to the motherland by refusing to bust out the broken English.
As Übergang – which means ‘transition’ in German – absolutely wear their influences on their sleeves, we decided to ask them about the influences they literally decided to wear on their sleeves when the day came to shoot the promo photos that would go out with the new album. We contacted each member to ask them about their shirt selection on the day of photographic immortalization. While you’re reading the band’s reverential words, check out a track from Zeichen der Zeit.
Cliff Nastii, Hell Devastation Screams (a.k.a. vocals):
I’m wearing my Übergang shirt because I just couldn’t decide. At first, I wanted to wear an old Destruction shirt, as their classic albums Infernal Overkill and Eternal Devastation are among my absolute favorites and had a definite influence on Übergang. The same goes for Kreator’s Extreme Aggression and this shirt was in my selection as well. I decided on our own shirt on short notice, as our first album Zeichen der Zeit represents everything I am and ever have been. It stands for itself.
J.C. Lawless, Sonic Chainsaw Carnage (a.k.a. guitar):
Bonded By Blood by Exodus is considered by many as [one of] the best thrash album of all time. The shirt shows the original cover for the album on which you see the silhouettes of the former band members. I like the dark atmosphere, the threatening look of it and the bloody letters. I think this shirt is a prime example for my nerdy dedication to 80’s thrash. It’s tough to decide on my favorite album. Bonded by Blood is the raw and powerful debut; I love the NWOBHM influenced guitar work and of course the insane vocals by Paul Baloff. On the other hand, I would choose Fabulous Disaster because of the more direct and aggressive sound. The title track and “Toxic Waltz” are blueprints for thrash masterpieces.
Jeff Insanity, Buzzsaw From Below (a.k.a. guitar):
Why am I wearing the Sacred Reich shirt? Because it was on top of my shelf and has one of the best designs that has ever been printed! Indeed, I could have chosen any shirt from my collection, because I’m mostly wearing shirts of bands that influence or inspire me. Sacred Reich is definitely one of them, especially the song “Surf Nicaragua.” That song hit me on the first rotation and belongs in my all-time favourites to this day. The album Still Ignorant belongs in my top 10 live albums.
Tony Custom, Low Tone Lunacy (a.k.a. bass):
I’m wearing the Power Trip shirt because it came fresh from the laundry. I love to wear it anyway as this band, like Übergang, is a younger band that started in 2008. I like their awesome mix of thrash and speed metal with the best of the hardcore genre. It’s beautiful to see that Power Trip, like Übergang, proudly keep the flame of our heroes from the 80s and 90s burning. Favorite album: Manifest Decimation.
Dukk Maniak, Blood Spitting Battery (a.k.a. drums):
I’m wearing the High on Radiation shirt by Reactory, because they are awesome guys and thrash like hell. They played at our first headliner show in Göttingen. Also, High on Radiation is just a perfect album. The riffs, vocals and gang shouts tear shit up and especially Cue’s drumming makes me want to break stuff. I haven’t listened to their second full length, Heavy, but I’m sure it’s just as rad.