Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Living Death - Watch Out EP (1985)

Thrash metal as a whole has been plagued with useless EPs and singles much like any other genre, and Living Death's follow-up to their Vengeance from Hell debut largely falls under this category. Well, to be exact, Watch Out was not entirely useless at the time of its original release, coming out on a separate label (Earthshaker), and featured one track not found on the debut, and superior re-recordings of several other tracks. But in retrospect, some re-issues of Vengeance from Hell actually contain "Watch Out", so it might be more prudent to acquire one of these and acclimate yourself to the whole shebang, unless you're the collector type, equating reissues to rattlesnakes and entirely uninterested in anything but the original product.

"Watch Out" itself is a true terror of a track, bombastic and slicing German thrash/speed, and you'll notice immediately that Thorsten has improved his lot as a vocalist, with a grinding, sharp tone not unlike the legendary Udo Dirkschneider of Accept. In fact, Accept-gone-thrash is all too adequate a description for the track, and if such a proposition seems enticing, then by all means you will enjoy this track. The other pieces here are "You and Me", "Nightlight", and "Heavy Metal Hurricane", all culled from the debut with a slightly fresh coat of paint. I almost wish the entirety of Vengeance from Hell had just been re-recorded, with Bergmann toning down his antics, because it would be a severe lift in quality, but you'll just have to settle for this and rest assured that the full-length sophomore Metal Revolution takes its queues from the notion.

If you can actually find this, then maybe it's worth your while, especially if you're a huge fan of mid-80s German power, speed and thrash metal. Chances are you'll have to settle for a download, or just pick up one of the Vengeance from Hell re-issues that include the title track. Otherwise, you're getting a pretty 'hot' picture of the band in all their bullet strung glory, and a whiff of nostalgic dust. From here out, in 1985, Living Death will make several improvements, resulting in the two best albums of their career, so consider this the benchmark.

Verdict: Indifference [5.25/10] (grab yourself and save you)

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