VENDETTA - Brain Damage

Vendetta - Brain Damage

10 songs
41:54 minutes
***** ***
Metal Axe


In the late Eighties, Germany was a heaven for speed and thrash metal bands, with Kreator, Sodom and Destruction spearheading a movement which was popular all over the world. Some bands never made it to the very top but were just as interesting as their better known compatriots. Vendetta are probably the best example of a very promising band that released two excellent albums in 1987 and 1988, and then disappeared just as quickly as they arrived.

Metal Axe Records are about to release Vendetta’s comeback album after a nineteen year release hiatus, and therefore decided to reissue remastered versions of the two Vendetta albums. Even if the booklet has the copy of an interview that states that Vendetta were not the German Metallica, you still can’t deny the Americans’ enormous influence on Brain Damage. But that’s not necessarily a problem. The four first tracks that made for the A-side of the original vinyl LP are among the finest you will ever have heard in German speed metal. War, Brain Damage and Conversation are full of killer riffs and catchy melodies without ever sounding commercial. The production was heavier on the guitars than on the rhythm section, and the vocalist didn’t have the best (but still a charming) voice with a very heavy German accent. The power ballad Precious Existence sounds a lot like Metallica’s Welcome Home (Sanitarium), highlighting again where Vendetta came from. The remaining five songs (or the B-side) couldn’t quite keep up with the genius of the preceding four, but offered still far above average speed metal. The new edition of the album ends with a live version of War, which is a bit faster than the studio version.

The label sells the reissues at a lower price than the upcoming album, although many online stores ask more than 20€ which comes close to a crime. Brain Damage and Go And Live… Stay And Die are both essential documents of Eighties speed metal from Germany that should be in every well sorted metal collection. Just take care how much you are charged for them. And now let’s wait for their comeback album, even though the bass player is the only remaining member of the original Vendetta. It should also be noted that in the Eighties Vendetta were famous for their combined Vokuhila and porno beard looks. Twenty years later, all but one member have short hair… how the times have changed!

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