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And the fire is lit - 78%

radiohater, July 20th, 2004

Things would start to pick up for Living Death after the release of their first album. They recruited Harald Lutze as their permanent drummer and set about touring, most notably for well-known German metallers Warlock. Lutze's tenure in the band was short lived as before the end of the year he was replaced with Andreas Oberhoff. In 1985 they released the Watch Out! EP, which apparently showed a progression from their older style. Later that year they followed up with their second full-length effort Metal Revolution.

This shows Living Death progressing towards a more aggressive form of thrash, although there are still traces of their older style still present. Their newfound aggression is immediately apparent on the Accept-on-crack opener Killing Machine. Following this is Gripping A Heart, which is vaguely reminiscent of some of the faster material on their debut. The band slow down for a couple of numbers, Rulers Must Come and the brutally grinding Screaming From A Chamber, but everything else is pretty much more aggressive speed/thrash metal. Oberhoff fits well into the lineup, providing fast-paced beats a plenty, along with a particularly fill-happy approach at the slow tempos. Frank Fricke and the brothers Kelch team up together to put forward a rather thick wall of sound. The riffing seems to have changed, becoming more energetic and intense, varying from quick speed metal to thunderous slow chunky riffing. A good summation of their styles can be seen in Road Of Destiny, which while being mostly fast-paced speed metal, shows the band experimenting with slower sections and twin guitar lines. The biggest change in the band's sound however is the vocals. Thorsten Bergmann has ditched the weak vocals that plagued the debut and instead employs a high pitched and ABRASIVE screech which has become something of a trademark for him. Some people will prefer this over his previous delivery, some will HATE this new approach, and others will just dismiss it as substituting one kind of shit for another. He does sound like his old self at times during Deep In Hell, but for the most part he has forsaken that style completely. The production here has improved tenfold over the debut, with the guitars a lot more prominent in the mix and sounding beefier. There is some bass presence here, though it's mixed in a manner that it combines with the guitars to create a thick wall of sound (this could be due to Dieter Kelch's rather inactive playing style). The drums are mixed evenly, with the snare in particular sounding quite nice. Thorsten can be heard well, although at times he is lost under the guitars, particularly in Road Of Destiny, where he is almost inaudible (not that it's a bad thing to some people...).

This disc is an important step in the evolution of Living Death, hinting at where their sound would eventually progress to. In the process they have churned out some rather energetic and enjoyable speed/thrash metal. Any fans of this sort of metal (think: Accept) would be well served to check it out.