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thewarheadshaverustinpeace, June 4th, 2022
Written based on this version: Unknown year, 7" vinyl, Independent (Limited edition)

Metallica's Creeping Death, in my honest opinion, is the greatest thrash song ever written. One of the most noteworthy aspects of that song is the undeniably catchy and iconic die chant section at about the halfway mark. Now, Kirk Hammett had written that absolutely fantastic riff, and another thing to note is that Kirk Hammett's first band was Exodus. Why is this all worth mentioning? Because this track right here has that same exact riff that was later used in Metallica's fantastic 6 minute epic.

The production on this single isn't the greatest because it's from an old live recording, but you can still tell what's going on (though, I wish someone could figure out the lyrics). I'd say this single also has Paul Baloff's best vocal performance. There's a ton of aspects in this track that are great, but that chorus riff that was later used in Creeping Death just doesn't sit right in this song. It comes out of nowhere, sounds nothing like the rest of the song in tone or anything, and it's played way too fast compared to how epic it sounds on the Metallica variant. I'd say while Kirk Hammett had some fantastic ideas in this, he perfected them once he took some stuff over to Metallica.

Now, Endor, or Ender, or whatever the hell you wanna call it, is kind of disjointed and not really my jam. I can kind of tell why this song didn't make it to any albums because it is just fairly uninspired and tired sounding. I think a better B side to this single would've been a better sounding version of Whipping Queen or Warlord. Oh well.

In conclusion, this single is a very nice little release and something to showcase Exodus' Kirk Hammett years. I'd say this is an essential listen to Exodus fans, Metallica fans, and just thrash metal addicts as a whole.

I give Die by His Hand a 79%, and 7/10 stars.