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Fight the non-existent foe - 55%

Felix 1666, February 9th, 2018
Written based on this version: 1987, 12" vinyl, Noise Records

It is surprising to see that a lot of people seem to love the debut of Vendetta. The average rate of 94% after seven reviews speaks volumes. But believe me, nobody took care of Vendetta at the time of the release of their debut. The German metal magazines like Rock Hard, Metal Hammer or Rock Power never wrote many lines about the band from Bavaria. Celtic Frost, Running Wild, Kreator or Helloween were pure gold for Noise Records, but Vendetta did not find a great audience. Please keep in mind that there were also a lot of competitors that had contracts with other companies and many of them (Destruction, Sodom, Iron Angel) also knew how to thrash in a competent manner. Vendetta did not lack technical skills, but 30 years ago, it was common understanding that their song-writing was rather mediocre. To be honest, I still think so. "Go and Live...Stay and Die" is, to describe it positively, a decent record, but it has nothing that makes my heart beat faster.

Vendetta chose a pretty complex kind of thrash and this approach resulted in overlong pieces. They lacked catchiness and a clear focus was missing as well. The title track, for instance, celebrates an orgy of (sometimes bulky) riffs, but at the end of the day, this guitar wizardry remains futile. There are no parts that leave a lasting impression. The following "Traitor's Fate" offers a dynamic bridge, so far, so good, but compared with really strong, more or less technical thrash albums from Germany, this tune also gets lost in the crowd. Each and every song of Angel Dust's debut beats the here presented tracks with great ease, not least because of the fact that Vendetta always miss the right moment to bring a song to an end. Especially "Traitor's Fate" shows this symptom. This lack of compactness is simply regrettable, because it drains the power from the songs.

The vocals sound lacklustre and interchangeable. It's obvious that the guy at the microphone lacks charisma. His ordinary voice matches the ordinary lyrics. Very socio-critical, very instructive for uninformed fools like me and always on the morally right side. The album's title was a statement against xenophobia in a country where no right-wing party played any role. Slightly strange, but it's always a good thing to bring yourself into position against a non-existent enemy. Anyway, the lyrics are not the problem here. The musical mix of high speed, average riffs, meandering, sometimes excessive solos and rather poor melodies is just too weak to compete with Paradox or further similarly acting formations. Last but not least, the unobtrusive production also has nothing that gives the album an own identity. Thus, it was no wonder that Vendetta never got a big piece of the cake. "Go and Live..." is gathering dust on my shelf.

German Thrash Classic! - 96%

ThrashFanatic, January 27th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Massacre Records (Reissue, Remastered)

Schweinfurt, Bavaria, Germany based thrash band Vendetta, were one of the finest thrash acts to come out of Germany. They played a fast form of speed/thrash metal and had some killer riffs, much like their peers. After releasing a trio of demos, the band were signed to Noise Records and released their debut "Go And Live... Stay And Die" in September of 1987. Let's see what this album has to offer...

Opening the album is the frantic thrasher "Suicidal Lunacy", which has some fucking crazy riffs at the beginning of the song. Guitarists Daxx and Micky are one of the most underrated guitar duos in all of thrash and metal in general. Daxx and Micky also alternate vocal duties on each song, much like how The Beatles did so on their albums. Both of them are killer on guitar, I've always preferred Micky's vocal style though. Bassist Heiner is audible throughout the record and puts on a stellar performance. He even gets a moment to shine during the intro of the title track. He does a fantastic job on this album. Samson is the drummer, and his drums are produced perfectly. I love the sound of his drums when he does the fills, it sounds very crisp, much like Ventor's drum sound on Pleasure To Kill. Each member puts on a great performance!

"Traitor's Fate" is a killer track, with some insane riffs and great drumming. The riff with the vibrato sounds killer, it sounds like Tony Iommi if he were to play for a thrash band. This track is one of the highlights! "System Of Death" begins with a beautiful acoustic intro, followed by some awesome riffs. The chorus is very memorable also...

"Systems of death - security?
Systems of death - insanity!"

This track clocks in at 8 minutes the longest on the album. It never overstays it's welcome though, and it is so good that is flies by! This is another highlight. "On The Road" is a song which talks about life on the road and crowd energy. The riff is awesome, and the vocals are great too. This is a great track to close out the album.

Vendetta's debut is one of the best speed/thrash metal debuts out there. There are riffs at every corner, the bass is audible, and the drumming is on point! If you are a fan of Grinder, Deathrow, Exumer, Metallica, and Kreator, then you'll enjoy this classic! Vendetta would however turn into a technical/progressive powerhouse on their next record, which I'll be reviewing next. Stay tuned...

Highlights: "Suicidal Lunacy", "Traitor's Fate", "System Of Death", and "On The Road"

Perfect German thrash on a different perspective - 96%

DesecratorJ, September 28th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1988, CD, Noise Records (Reissue)

Rarely I've seen people that knew about Vendetta, and this is quite sad to hear because they were a very interesting band, back in the eighties. Even with their goodness, they still haven't been recognized mainly because of the large amount of other good bands ... They started out back in 1984 and released a few demos before having the chance to get signed to the famous Noise records label. I guess they saw pretty good potential in their early works. Well, the first full-length album of Vendetta, called "Go and Live ... Stay and Die" was first released in 1987 in vinyl format, but quickly got released on CD few months later with a bonus track on it, which is a pretty cool thing. The cover art looks nice as well, even if I am not sure what it represents exactly, whatever.

There's not a lot of material on the album itself, but longer tracks, it still contains some shorter ones to keep song structure varieties. In fact, this album has 8 songs and clocks at 41 minutes of running time, so when I first got to listen to this record, I was both impressed and surprised by how these guys actually sound. While Vendetta are heavier and faster than most US Bay Area thrash bands, they do not sound like the typical German thrash band you already know, for example, the big three (Sodom, Destruction, Kreator), which were among the most brutal shit in Europe back then. I would say that they are a combination of both, in my opinion. The band was quite unique as well, both guitarists were sharing the vocal duties, which brought great variation in each track. They are also the creative force of nearly all the band's materials, you will easily notice how skilled they are with their instruments there.

One thing for sure, this album kicks-off in one of the best possible ways with the first track "Suicidal Lunacy", which is also my favourite one on the whole record. It begins with a mid-paced riff that quickly evolves into a catchy fast riffing attack with an aggressive vocal performance, the guitar solos are also insanely good and fit perfectly within the song. The album keeps impressing with songs such as "On the Road" that have a classic thrash feeling, but with some technical play as well as the admirable vocal duo. The most notable piece of the album is of course the famous "System of Death" track, clocking at over 8 minutes, this one really defines what Vendetta was all about at that particular time, killer riffs with some melodies melted in violent thrash attitude. One specific song that piqued my attention was the very short "Drugs and Corruption" track, it shows a different side of the band, I thought it really sounded like a crossover thrash song, pretty interesting, but personally, I wouldn't have liked a whole album like this. However, it's alright as it is.

Musically, this album delivers, and very well I must say. The dominant aspects of the album is obviously the guitars and vocals, I can also point out that the drums are intense as hell. Quality-wise, this is really different from most German thrash releases, Vendetta's first two records all have great production work, and most likely because of them being signed to Noise Records at the time. So, even if I have a preference for the raw and primitive sound of bands like Sodom, Destruction or Necronomicon, I still greatly appreciate thrash records like this one. Anyway, the early stuff of Vendetta has varied lyrics subjects, which includes violence, metal, death, society or some politics. It's kind of similar to what lots of American bands sung about, but they did it in their own European way.

Since this is such an unknown band to the typical metal music fan, both of their records of the 80s are really worth giving a listen to discover their material. Vendetta are in my opinion a pretty good way to explore what the Germans had to offer in term of thrash metal, to notice that they weren't all doing the same thing at the same time. If you really like the typical American bands, I recommend these guys mainly because they are better than many of them and also heavier, but still easily accessible for a German band.

Favourite tracks :

On the Road
Suicidal Lunacy
System of Death
Traitor's Fate

We're the men insane - 85%

autothrall, January 11th, 2011

Vendetta must have had a lot of other band's shaking in their boots at the time Go and Live...Stay and Die was released, because it's such a compact, loaded weapon of 'things to do right' that it instantly placed the band among the ranks of the elite. Noise Records deal? Check. Fantastic musicianship? Check. A vocalist with his own personality who wasn't just biting off other German bands of the day? Check. All these elements in place, it was a profound shock that this debut didn't meet greater success for the band, as they were writing music here that Destruction or Kreator would have been proud of, and the vibrant energy of this recording hasn't yet to dissipate after decades of applied aging, even if it's not quite so expansive or evolutionary as its follow-up.

"Suicidal Lunacy" is such a great place to start, with a swerving opening hook that pummels straight into the blitzkrieg of the first verse. Almost immediately, we are introduced to Daxx's vocal regimen, which is akin to Schmier but more 'wasted' sounding. Acidic, feral and accented, it's one of the strong points of the band, and easy enough to distinguish from other front men of this movement. He's also a damn good guitarist, as is his partner in crime Micky, and the two of them have more in their arsenal than most military detachments. Though it's nearly 7 minutes in length, this piece never gets boring, and remarkably, this is yet another of the achievements of Go and Live...Stay and Die. The title track and "Traitor's Fate" are over six minutes long, with the former using a funky rock intro that foreshadows perhaps "War" from the sophomore; the latter is one of the most distinct and forceful gems of German thrash/speed in the 80s.

"System of Death" eclipses both in length, running over 8 minutes, with a classical guitar intro, what sounds like a crashing plane and then a slew of rhythms ranging from mid to fast paced. The latter half of the album holds up, though its contents are briefer and more focused. For example, the ditty "Drugs and Corruption" is just one minute of manic speed thrust, while "On the Road" is overflowing with excellent, grimy speed, guitar melodies plucking through the ballistic discourse. "And the Brave Man Fails" also deserves some notice, with melodic riffing that reminds one of Running Wild, and if you've got a problem with that, you're probably not reading my reviews anyway.

Go and Live...Stay and Die is solid from fore to aft, and about the only place it falls behind some of its peers is in relative lack of catchiness. Where Persecution Mania and Terrible Certainty were almost entirely chiseled into my brain upon my first exposure, there are traces of this album that I will forget despite many listens. I'm going to give the leg up to the sophomore, Brain Damage as being the better of the band's two albums, simply because the songs distinguish themselves that much more, despite the increased ampage of cheese the band layered in to creat some variation. That being said, this truly stands the test of time alongside other unsung heroes as Holy Moses' Finished with the Dogs and Tankard's Chemical Invasion as an example of something that should have broken out like an infection. Shame upon us all.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

One of the best thrash metal albums of all time!!! - 100%

cravingforvenom, February 19th, 2009

Vendetta were fairly unknown in the metal community and sadly still are, except to the intense eighties metal diggers. There are a couple of factors that played a significant role for this. Firstly, they hailed from Germany which had already launched an endless number of speed/thrash metal bands namely the Teutonic trio (Sodom, Kreator, Destruction) and the four powerhouses (Helloween, Rage, Grave Digger, Running Wild) and were still spawning many a band. Secondly their label was not being too supportive of them terming them as yet another band that owed much to the Bay Area thrash than their own hometown. The actual fact is these guys were awesome and this debut album speaks for itself. It’s highly surprising why this band did not make it to the big leagues.

Musically, as mentioned earlier they draw favorable comparisons with the West coast thrashers such as early Metallica and Heathen and at the same time, there is also a slight hint of crossover in the vocals department reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies and Hirax. Having said that, it at times also sounds like a pre dated version of Wargasm’s monster debut that created a huge buzz a year after. The production is crisp and perfect for its time, as is the musicianship which is highly effective and very well done. The guitars churn out razor sharp riffs whereas the drums and bass add the perfect backing. The vocal work is basically a split work between the two guitarists Daxx and Micky who do a laudable job.

As for the tracks this one ain’t got no fillers. All songs fit well and portray a high deal of consistency. The starter “Suicidal Lunacy” kicks off the thrash fest with a riff similar to Metallica’s “Whiplash” and goes full throttle after a few seconds. Next up is the title track with a powerful bass solo intro and a catchy chorus, and is perhaps one of the better songs on this album. “Traitor’s Fate” is the fastest thing here full of unrelenting riffs and incredible solos. Now comes the best track “Systems Of Death” which is full of insane riffs and lead guitar fills and above all excellent double bass drumming by Samson who even goes Wehrmacht like Beercore in the mid section. The chorus is infectious and sticks to your head for days or even weeks like a tapeworm. There is also a folksy lead guitar solo about a minute and a half from the end of the track that adds to the diversity of this mosher.

The fifth track “Drugs And Corruption” is a short blast not unlike a Cryptic Slaughter song. The follow up “Revolution Command” can be labeled as one of the most amazing metal songs of all time. The intro guitar solo is the best thing one can ever hear accentuated by the heavy riffs that lay the foundation for this thrasher. The closer “On The Road” finishes things in an uncompromising fashion with the bonus track “And The Brave Man Fails” lending a handy support.

Thrash metal freaks are in for a feast here, especially for those who only swear by Metallica and the rest of the Bay Area fraternity. Wargasm fans would definitely want to give this a listen if the craving for more of that stuff still sticks inside your iron heads. Highly recommended!!!!

Picks: Systems Of Death, Traitor’s Fate, Revolution Command, Go and Live…Stay and Die

A storm of infinite riffs! - 90%

Xeogred, July 6th, 2008

I for one have never really cared about the "technical" tag that gets thrown around fairly often in thrash. You can certainly discuss whether or not [x] band is more skillful than [y] band, but it's arguable if it's a real genre or not. Regardless, if I were forced to come up with a list of what I thought boiled down to "technical thrash", Vendetta's insanely creative debut here would be around the top of that list. These guys pretty much did their own thing here, they took influences from across the globe and smashed them into one hell of an album. This doesn't sound like what both the US and Germany were typically doing at the time in the realm of thrash, so there's definitely a lot of originality to be found here too.

Generally speaking you might think of crazy leads and solo's that make up a technical album or virtuous segment to a song, but it's almost the opposite with Vendetta here. The riffs are far more prominent than anything else on this album and it seriously sounds like there's hundreds of different ones throughout this. You'll notice a good chunk of the songs are on the longer side of things and they definitely make it work while keeping things interesting, with the onslaught of rhythm changes and pacing around every corner. This aspect of the album reminds me a lot of Helstar's stuff, mainly their thrashier release Nosferatu. Anyone could argue that a lot of the rhythm changes are pretty odd but at the same time they're just downright awesome and always work incredibly well. It's safe to say this album should provide a very fresh experience for those wanting to hear something that'll continually make them guess as to what will happen next.

There's definitely a handful of comparisons that can be made here in a few ways, though nothing but more technical and odd bands come to mind. There are moments here that'll make you think of Helstar, Pariah, Holy Terror, Paradox, Nuclear Assault (maybe a stretch), Flotsam & Jetsam, and so forth. These moments are "all in a good way" as well, it's not like anything here sounds like they're ripping them off. The vocals (oddly handled by both guitarists according to sources) sound closer to Holy Terror than the other bands mentioned. I honestly believe one of the guitarists here, Daxx or Mickey, did the majority of the vocals. It's either that or these two sound pretty much exactly the same, I can't really find any parts that could possibly distinguish the two. The vocals overall might be the weakest element to the album here, but they certainly work and flow along with the music better than anything else I could imagine. However the rest of the band really takes the spotlight and yeah, I'm saying "the rest" as in well, everyone? This is obviously a very guitar driven album but both bassist Heiner and drummer Samson display an insane amount of skill themselves, complex diversity at its finest. Simply put they're just as odd and all over the place as the guitars. Oh and the production is excellent for its time.

Overall this album is incredibly consistent, constantly showcasing a sheer amount of skill and diversity that'll always keep you guessing. Very fast thrash, with some destructive riffs, crazy dynamic drumming, spacey melodies and harmonies, shredtastic solo's, they've got everything here. The speedy Suicidal Lunacy opens up and should clearly display what you'll be in for with the rest of the album. Traitor's Fate has always stood out a lot for me, the buildups on this one are really intense and the vocals actually stand their own ground quite a bit, really aggressive stuff. Systems of Death is the grand epic monster on the whole thing, opening up with some acoustics which displays the bands creativity at slower paces (though it should be obvious at this point in the album!) Drugs and Corruption isn't some worthless solo track or transition, it's literally about a one minute track that kicks complete ass. Chances are you'll end up wishing this one was longer, but it's still incredibly fun. The next two tracks keep the consistency going while On the Road displays the their melodic skill at its peak. Then there was And The Brave Man Falls (bonus track on the CD, so I imagine this is a common song on most versions thesedays) ... you can tell right off the beginning that this song will ultimately dominate. It almost sounds like Running Wild somehow fused with Pariah, if you can somehow imagine that. The riffs and lead work on this one are totally unforgettable, with excellent vocals yet again, and some cool classy solo's towards the middle half. If you could only show people one song from this band, this one would be essentially one of the best choices - the one that'd make people say "Yeah, these guys are pretty damn good. I need more immediately".

As you would expect from a band like this, their follow up release Brain Damage is pretty unique itself and manages to stand out on its own quite a bit as well. I would say I favor the debut more here since it's generally faster and seems thrashier, but they perfected the production on Brain Damage and gave the bass way more time under the spotlight and well, it's incredible to hear. If you like either or I'd say it's essential to check out the other. All in all, if you want some really unique and interesting thrash than this is definitely something to check out.

Another Underrated Band - 92%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, June 16th, 2008

To me, Germany during the 80s was the undisputed winner among the European country for the number and quality of the thrash metal bands it had. Some of them were lucky (Sodom, Destruction and Kreator) because they emerged very well, but other ones (Darkness and Vendetta) remained in the underground. I used the word “lucky” because Vendetta had the skills to emerge but it was only a matter of unluckiness. For example, their debut in 1987 was far more technical and mature than most of the albums released those years by the famous Trio.

Here we can find a great churn of incredibly restless palm muting riffs and tempo changes. Look at the lengths, just to have an idea of what they’re able to put out, and I’m not talking about fillers or dull riffs. Each song is a little piece of extremely good thrash, that can take influences also from the hardcore movement of the U.S.A. for the impact, but the various galloping parts are the classic ones by a technical band.

“Suicidal Lunacy” is straight to the point for speed and heaviness. The main influences for the riffage of the guitars can be found in the Bay Area group such as Exodus and early Metallica, but here they seem even faster with that charge by hardcore that anyway, doesn’t result too immature. It works perfectly just to give speed and heaviness the band requires to be more in “your face”. In the title track the American influences are preponderant but the schizophrenic, German style vocals are good to maintain a certain European touch.

The tempo changes are numerous and sometimes they follow the old school traditional heavy metal with guitars duets, also during the fast but never chaotic solos. The melody is not the most important thing in their sound, you can notice it, but they are able to be not as heavy as the other German bands conserving perfect songs structure and easily identifiable parts. The production, also, is the classic thrash metal one with quite clean sounds and not too pounding instruments. Everything is well balanced: music, instruments and volumes.

“System Of Death” is the most complete and mature song of the album, being half melodic and half dramatic during the over 8 minutes of length. There is a good mix of mid paced, obscure parts and fast ones where the speed metal influences play the main role. The energy that this group is always able to spread during the last, shorter tracks is incredible. In one particular case, “Revolution Command”, the impact is even better balanced with the dramatic touch of the lead guitars lines and the incredible run after each other of the rhythmic galloping riffs.

All in all, just another small gem in a strange musical panorama that too often exalts groups they don’t deserved to be credited and leaves other ones to bite the dust. This is the right time to rediscover and appreciated them because in some cases the sentence “it’s never too late” could not be the right one. Carpe Diem if you find this album!

Listen and enjoy... avoid and repent - 99%

symptomofmetal, November 20th, 2006

Firs, I want you to know that this is the first review I make for this page. I've chosen this album to start not because it's the best metal album ever made, but because it's extremely good and nobody has reviewed it yet.

This is a pure Thrash album, maybe more influenced by punk than average Thrash, but it doesn't mean it's bad at all. It shows one of the best rythmic guitar works I've ever heard, the drums sound just like they were being played inside of your head. There's absolutely nothing bad to be said about the bass and the singer... well, let's say he fits the music, though he's for me the weakest member of the group.

This album has no fillers, but there are a few songs that will show you immediately what these guys are able to do. In first place, "System Of Death" is a very long song (over 8 minutes) with a wonderful intro and then... ¡in your face! ¡Thrash begins! Two other songs not as long but quite as good are "Revolution Command" and "On The Road"

About the production... You'll know as soon as you begin listening that this was made in the 80's. Maybe someone thinks it's too rough or something like that, but for me it's just perfect.

Another topic to talk about is their lyrics. Their social content is remarkable without being political propaganda. It's comforting to find some thinking musicians from time to time...

So, in conclusion, do anything to get this album and listen to it a few times. I guarantee it will trap you (if you like thrash, of course)