As I went from track to track on German Thrasher VENDETTA’S album “Black As Coal” I got about half way and forgot I was supposed to be doing a review. I was just enjoying the music, slowly turning it up, and sitting here in awe of how freaking great these guys are.
They put out a couple albums in the later part of the 80’s that were pretty raw and unrefined. They split and reformed in 2002 and then started putting out albums again on a more regular basis from 2007 on.
They’re essentially a Speed/Thrash band, a genre that was really perfected by the Germans, Rage comes to mind right away of course. They’re not fast all the time just for the sake of it, in fact they’re right in the pocket quite a bit more like Megadeth or Annihilator. The vocals by Mario Vogel are intense, but they’re clean, which I personally prefer over the Death growls.
The album seems to have a “war” theme of sorts, but I would assume that’s on a lot of European’s minds with the Russia/Ukraine conflict in their backyard. They don’t mess around getting after it with the opener “Shoot To Kill”, an epic Thrasher that sets the tone for the album.
The single “Stranglehold Of Terror” is a standout track, great breakdowns, some moments of Prog Metal and a punishing delivery. I enjoyed “AK-47” as well, it reminded me of the 90’s Thrash when the genre started to put more of a groove into the music.
There really isn’t what I would consider a “weak track” on here. You’re getting a lot of music too, most tracks are over 5 minutes with a couple over 6 minutes. And they don’t seem that long, they keep it interesting.
For the Black/Death Metal and all the extreme genres I realize this might not be heavy enough for your liking. But if you’re a Power Metal fan, or even from the Class Metal genre you’ll enjoy most of this. In the 80’s I was listening to Ratt and Anthrax, so it’s possible to expand your horizons.
Bottom line, this is a great band, super tight, very solid musicians that play a heavy pounding form of Heavy Metal. As far as the genre goes I give this album an 8.5 out of 10 “Flaming Fists”. It’s very close to a 9 or higher, but I think they have more in the tank and probably still havn’t achieved their best yet.
- Shoot To Kill
- Stranglehold Of Terror
- No Hands But A Gun
- Black As Coal
- Time To Change
- Death Means Relief
- Cheap Death
- For Dear Life
- Beast In Her Eyes
Mario Vogel – vocal (2002–present)
Thomas “Lubber” Krämer – drums (2001–present)
Klaus “Heiner” Ullrich – bass (1984–1990, 2002–present)
Frank Heller – guitars (2002–2006, 2012–present)
Michael “Opf” Opfermann – guitars (2012–present)