Living Death

LIVING DEATH, one of Europe's first Thrash/Speed-Metal bands was formed in 1980/81 from the brothers Reiner (guitar) and Dieter Kelch (bass),
completed with Frank Fricke (guitar), Thorsten Bergmann (voice) and Frank Schubring (drums).

Metal Revolution Living Death - Metal Revolution (A.B.S.) 1985

1. "Killing Machine" (3:13)
2. "Grippin' a Heart" (4:39)
3. "Rulers Must Come" (4:11)
4. "Screaming from a Chamber" (6:12)
5. "Intro" (1:30)
6. "Shadow of the Dawn" (3:15)
7. "Panic and Hysteria" (4:13)
8. "Road of Destiny" (4:32)
9. "Deep in Hell" (3:55)

One of Germany's legendary thrash bands, Living Death were quite unique in their pioneering thrash metal sound. One of the most unique things about "Metal Revolution" is the vocal approach of vocalist Thorsten Bergmann, whose screechy voice reminds me of Tim Baker of Cirith Ungol fame. An acquired taste for sure, but once you acquire that taste, you'll begin to appreciate the unique style and charisma he possesses. The music is a combination of some fast, intense thrash riffs and some slower, more conventional heavy metal riffing, not unlike something you might hear on Accept's "Restless & Wild" album. The opening track is one of the finest tracks on the CD. It is a classic thrash metal song with a catchy riff that should have any self respecting metalhead banging right along. Each song is chock full of screaming solos, blood-pumping riffs and steady, fast drumming. The raw production adds to the overall feel of the album. Raunchy guitar tones, mixed with Thorsten's equally nasty, striking vocal approach is a winning combination. Much like those early Raven albums, the almost live feel to the recording gives the band a sound that is warm and decidedly metal. "Metal Revolution" is an energetic and completely enjoyable speed/thrash metal release.

The album has been reissued on CD by A.B.S. Records in the year 1996. In 2002 the album was re-released again by Shark Records. Both re-releases list "Shadow of the Dawn" as "Shadow of a Dream".

World Neurosis Living Death - Worlds Neuroses (Aaarrg) 1989

1. "Last Birthday" (3:50)
2. "Die Young" (3:57)
3. "Schizophrenia" (4:10)
4. "On the 17th Floor" (3:39)
5. "Down" (4:30)
6. "Worlds Neuroses" (02:29)
7. "Bastard (at the Busstop)" (2:43)
8. "The Testament of Mr. George" (5:02)
9. "Sacred Chao" (3:58)
10. "Tuesday" (6:51)

Living Death, despite being labeled a "German thrash band" were quite unique. They really don't sound like Sodom, Kreator, Accuser and Destruction, who generally are some of the more well known thrash bands to come out of Germany. Their sound has a slightly more punk delivery than their contemporaries. This may be in no small part to the vocal delivery and he abundance of gang vocals. The other big difference is in the bizarre lyrical themes that Living Death offer up. While war, death, and such oddities are among the themes, as they are in many thrash bands, Living Death just seem to take an odd approach to the themes. I am not even sure if I can word what I am trying to say. However, take a look at some of the song titles and you may get a clue of what I am trying to say. Overall, however, this is a thoroughly enjoyable CD. It is a bit hard to come by, as are most Living Death discs.

Living Death Living Death (Aarrg) 1994

1. "Nuclear Greetings" (4:38)
2. "Bloody Dance" (3:29)
3. "The Way (Your Soul Must Go)" (4:34)
4. "Child of Illusion" (3:17)

5. "Horrible Solution" (3:39)
6. "Manila Terror" (3:49)
7. "Natures Death" (4:39)
8. "Wood of Necrophiliac" (5:18)
9. "Vengeance" (4:07)
10. "Intruder" (4:50)
11. "The Galley" (5:34)
12. "War of Independence" (3:31)
13. "Eisbein (mit sauerkraut)" (2:51)
14. "Last Birthday" (3:51)
15. "Die Young" (3:57)
16. "Schizophrenia" (4:10)
17. "On the 17th Floor" (3:39)
18. "Down" (4:30)
19. "Worlds Neuroses" (2:29)
20. "Bastard (at the Busstop)" (2:44)
21. "The Testament of Mr. George" (5:02)
22. "Sacred Chao" (3:58)
23. "Tuesday" (6:53)

LIVE 1988
24. "Killing Machine" [live] (2:55)
25. "Grippin' a Heart" [live] (4:48)
26. "Road of Destiny" [live] (4:22)
27. "Screaming from a Chamber" [live] (6:36)

A rare CD re-issue of two of Living Death's best full length albums and two shorter EPs. The entire 2-disc collection is filled with fast and furious German thrash metal, sounding a bit like what was coming from the likes of Kreator, Destruction and even early Running Wild at some points. Vocalist Thorsten Gergmann has a high, intense shrill voice that reminds me of a cross between Dan McCafferty (Nazareth) and the vocalist from Cirith Ungol. The song writing is focused on speed and aggression rather than hooky choruses, but that was the name of the game in early thrash scene. However, it is also apparent that Living Death were trying to clean up their 'thrash metal' act a bit by tightening up their sound and musicianship without losing the aggression, energy or speed. This is especially apparent as the band's progression is noticable from their thrashy 1986 EP to their progressive speed metal '88 album "World Neuroses". However, "Protected From Reality" (the band's fifth release) is still my favorite of the four.

Living Death
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