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Go and Live...Stay and Die

Vendetta - Go and Live...Stay and Die ©1987 Noise
1. Suicidal Lunacy
2. Go and Live...Stay and Die
3. Traitor's Fate
4. System of Death
5. Drugs and Corruption
6. Revolution Command
7. On the Road
8. And the Brave Man Fails

In my unstated mission of becoming the worldwide expert on mediocre 80s thrash metal, I've come across more than a few bands who rightfully deserved their spot in speed metal obscurity. Some bands latched onto the style and managed to ape a sound without adding one bit more of usefulness to the genre. And then there's the occasional overlooked act that makes you wonder exactly why they weren't noticed in the first place.

Germany's Vendetta probably should have gotten a bit more attention during their initial existence, although truthfully they weren't going to ever be on the level of the notable thrash bands of the time. Since they're from Germany and appear on Noise Records, we might as well dive into the obvious journalistic gimmick of comparing them to that country's "Big Three": Destruction, Kreator and Sodom. Destruction, of course, is one of those bands who I've outgrown since being a teenager and find to be lacking in many regards. I think Vendetta were much stronger in the musicianship department. Destruction had the weird ability to come up with some great songs, despite not really even being able to play them well, so maybe that's why Destruction has been considered more noteworthy. Vendetta couldn't quite touch the razor sharp thrash of Kreator, but it should be noted Vendetta's debut is far less sloppy the Kreator's first offerings. As far as comparisons to Sodom go, Vendetta and Sodom played fairly different styles with Sodom being the rough hewn, grungy older brother who owned a switchblade knife and had real bullets on their belts.

Go and Live...Stay and Die is a surprisingly enjoyable debut. While there is a tendency for the songs to always be about a minute too long (with the exception of "Drugs and Corruption", which barely lasts over a minute and actually proves this band can be quite effective if they just get to the point right away), there is some pretty good material on this album. Vendetta was rather adept at the speedy material and came up with fluid riffing that generally works. The singing is somewhat weak, which is not the first time this has ever happened to a thrash band. However, the vocals do not approach that high pitched wimpering of Destruction, and for the most part do an adequate job of spitting out the lyrics.

For the most part, Go and Live...Stay and Die is an enjoyable speed/thrash metal romp with enough good songs to make it worth hunting down (assuming you are the type who just can't get enough of this era and style of music). For whatever reason, I always assumed this would be a wretched record, but songs like "Revolution Command" and the bonus track "And the Brave Man Fails" are energetic and fun tunes that redeem this obscure act.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2010

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