Every once in a while you just happen to stumble across an album where the sheer barrel scraping desperation of it all makes you throw your hands up and walk away after wondering how a band once so good could end up releasing something so unashamedly shitty. The band in question is German Thrash act VENDETTA who have recently released their album “Feed the Extermination” which is the second of their ‘comeback’ that began back in 2002. Well I use ‘comeback’ with a slight sense of reluctance as it isn’t really much of a return if this album is anything to go by.
I picked up “Go and Live... Stay and Die” a good few years ago now in a second hand record store and instantly their brand of frantic, semi-melodic Teutonic Thrash cemented itself as one of my favourite German thrash records ever. They never did get the attention those first two albums so deservedly garnered, that album or “Brain Damage” easily stood toe to toe with NOISE’s other more recognizable German acts at the time, bands such as DEATHROW, DESTRUCTION and KREATOR. This current incarnation though appears only to have retained their original bassist Klaus Ullrich and not much else.
So onto the post-mortem and being as brutally honest as I can there is ultimately very, very little redeeming qualities present here. As far as modern Thrash Metal goes the first two songs are just about passable with the title track being the slightly stronger of the two. It strikes a nice rhythm with some thick heavy riffs and doesn’t descend into quite the same level of turgid nonsense that the rest does, like a third rate version of modern KREATOR almost. ‘Tremendous Brutality’ has the odd decent passage but the guitar is far too loud and clean, which is much the case for the whole album. Thrash Metal was never supposed to sound this polished and sterile. The lyrics are also absolutely head-in-hands woeful: “I don’t care, look at me, I’m tremendous brutality” on a seemingly never ending loop from beginning to end. But you better brace yourself for here on in it gets worse, a lot worse.
It’s in "Cancer" where the Groove influences really being to rear their ugly head, chugging riffs with a downtuned groove and it all begins to sound like a really shitty PANTERA clone. "Shroud of Anger" sounds exactly like something they would have written, and I can’t stress enough how jaw droppingly bad the lyrics are here. The absolute nadir of the album lies with the ham fisted attempt at a solemn ballad in "Abuse" though which falls monumentally flat on its face. A little word of advice, if you’re trying to convey a feeling of sensitivity and melancholy, planting a great monstrosity of a Groove Metal riff slap bang through the middle of the song is not the way to go about it. Add in the uninspired drumming, awful vocals and toe curling lyrics and you have what can only be summed up as a train wreck. Anyway, since when did Thrash go from lyrics about banging your head against the stage and Josef Mengel to telling people “Abuse is around you, is your daughter alright?” What is this, Jerry fucking Springer?
Simply put, this is the perfect example what happens when a band feels the need to ‘modernize’ while remaining blissfully out of touch with their apparent target fanbase. The guitar is so flat and lifeless, the hackneyed and drab ‘chugga chugga’ Groove riffs aren’t what Thrash fans want to hear. That shit went out of fashion over ten years ago and it can stay that way. And the solos, where are they? I count about two on the whole album; there’s more soloing in the first minute of ‘Trapped Under Ice’ than this whole album. The vocals just don’t really suit the music and don’t hold a candle to the original vocalists Mickey and Daxx, who are sorely missed here. They sound almost like a cross between Zetro and Petrozza with all the aggression and venom removed completely, the same patterns and phrasings are utilized over and over at the same pitch without any range whatsoever.
Basically, “Feed the Extermination” is every bit as bad as the cover suggests, a self parodying overproduced Groove infested mess with lyrics so bad your brain will be doing somersaults. I mean, this guy could even give Alexi Laiho a run for his money in the ‘incessant and pointless use of swearing’ awards. There’s no two ways about it, this is one of the worst ‘Thrash’ albums I’ve ever set ears upon. Utterly contrived and unambitious, avoid at all costs.
(Online June 2, 2012)