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Vengeance of Hell

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Editors’ Notes

Although Velbert, Germany’s Living Death went through several subgenres of the hard stuff, today they are considered to be unsung heroes of thrash metal. After forming in 1981 the band tried their hand at traditional heavy metal and then speed metal before recording their 1984 debut album Vengeance of Hell for Earthshaker Records. The riff-shredding opener “You and Me” reveals that the band were inspired by bands like Metallica and UFO in songwriting and musical attack – but it’s done endearingly so – and though frontman Thorsten "Toto" Bergmann sounds somewhat inspired by Udo Dirkschneider from Accept, he sings with a more maniacal nasal-toned trill ramping up into athletic falsettos that deviate from any obvious influences. The band even gets away with naming the second song after themselves. “Living Death” starts off with occult chanting before pummeling rhythms and searing leads make way for Bergmann’s witchy croons and unpredictable melodies. Fans of Iron Angel, Manowar and Grave Digger and early Waysted will find familiarity in the instrumental “Labyrinth” while “Hellpike” is reminiscent of a time when American high schools had smoking sections.

Customer Reviews


Wow,where do i begin. I bought the original vinyle of this back in 85/86? I fell in love with this album. My friends and I thought it was so corny at the time. Listening to tracks like HellPike with its chanting chorus"HellPike! Hellpike!" take the song Living Death with its unbelievable lines....Drugs you see ,have a way with me. Im a Living death.Pure Hilarious. The vocals are whinny but you got to love these Germans. It grows on you. The music,especially the riffs are blatant ripoffs of UFO .Just buy it cause it is infectious and sincere. A time when thrash/blackmetal were still new and fresh.Where bands didnt follow in the typical cookie cutter mode


This easily has to be one of the funniest albums I have ever heard. The song "Living Death" had me crying with laughter. I am so glad I gave it a listen.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

One of Germany's — indeed, the world's — pioneering thrash metal bands, Living Death's history dates back as far as 1981, but their rough-and-tumble style and independently released albums never broke them beyond the heavy metal underground. Hailing from the town of Velbert, located halfway between Düsseldorf and Dortmund, Living Death underwent the same transition from traditional through speed and finally into thrash metal as most first-generation Teutonic thrashers (Helloween, Grave...
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Vengeance of Hell, Living Death
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