So, I don’t know too much about Terrible Headache, except for two things: 1) They are German; and 2) Before this, their last album was released way back in 1998. Now, I have this mate who has a number of rules about music (yes, he’s one of those people) and one of them is “no band that splits should ever get back together again. It’s always a disaster”). Is that the case for these gentlemen?

Well, it’s pretty hard to say if this release is as good as their 1998 album “Zeit Fur Gedanken” on the grounds that I’ve never heard it, but I can judge it on its own merits. What kind of music do Terrible Headache play? Well, from what we have here, it seems to be punk inflected thrashy heavy metal in the old-school vein. All sung in German, which makes a nice change. Is it any good? Well, I would say that it’s not bad. I’ve had some fun listening to it, that’s for sure, but I haven’t felt any overwhelming urge to pop this bad boy on repeat, or to specifically put it on other than to be acquainted with it for the purpose of review.

Those of us with of a certain age may remember thrash metal the first time round, and there were most definitely different leagues of quality. Of course, most know the so-called big four, the likes of Exodus, Testament, Heathen, Sacred Reich, Kreator, Destruction, Sodom, Coroner and Sepultura who were also top-tier, but beneath them were the hordes of other thrash bands that never quite made it. I’ll say that Terrible Headache inherit this kind of league, except without the added bonus of anyone remembering them from first time round, and so they don’t get that added bonus that comes from nostalgia. While tracks like “Amok” do have a genuine charm – think a heavier Anvil with some nifty double-bass drumming, there are other tracks like “Der Traum”that sound like the lesser known B-sides to modern Saxon singles, but with musical influence from the less interesting 90’s pop-punk bands.

It’s not that “Der Rote Baron” is a terrible album – it really, really isn’t, but it’s like going to a high school reunion that has excellent catering but you never actually attended there as a pupil – there’s only so much interest you can have in it.

Sorry chaps – not good enough to have repeated plays, and not bad enough to be truly interesting.

(4.5/10 Chris Davison)