When I would have to write essays in high school using the dreaded and wholly useless five paragraph format, the last thing I would think of was the title. Often, I would just try to remember things I’d watched, read, or heard and make truly dreadful puns out of them. Failing that, I’d ask a member of my immediate family what I should call the paper, because everything was complete but the title. If you couldn’t tell, that spirit of being unable to think of the beginning of a piece of writing has come back with a vengeance in the form of writing about Vendetta‘s fifth record The 5th.

Vendetta is a very old and very German band, with their full-length debut being released back in 1987. Like one particularly moronic German who took it upon himself to draw the dumbest conclusions out of philosophy’s oeuvre humanly possible, Vendetta really like the idea of Violent Revolution. Unlike Herr Marx, Vendetta is at least likeable in some sense and just enjoys those chunkier parts of what was my first Kreator record. While The 5th certainly isn’t the fastest record in the genre (or even as fast as the last two Kreator records, for that matter), it’s still recognizable as Teutonic thrash of the early 2000s variety.

Unintentionally hilarious title notwithstanding, “Religion is a Killer” may be the best thing Vendetta have on offer here. The slap-bass shred intro is jarring yet oddly fitting, and the terse verse keeps energy levels high. It also has the bonus of featuring The 5th’s best leads, which incidentally sound like quality Kreator leads. “Let ‘er Rip” is the most concise piece here, putting endearingly cheesy inspirational lyrics over what’s essentially variations on two main riffs. Because it’s two minutes and change in length, this works well; it also helps that the two riffs in question are actually pretty decent as far as neo-Kreator aping goes.

The main flaw here is that aping Kreator’s later material when latter-day Kreator is still very much alive and kicking is a good plan if you can match their quality. Vendetta does not, and ends up more often than not sounding like blander versions of things that could’ve been on Violent Revolution or Enemy of God. There’s no shortage of serviceable material here, but at a certain point I just can’t bring myself to care; why go to the mediocre burger joint when the great one is right next door and probably costs less? “Deadly Sin” goes nowhere at a slightly higher than mid-tempo gallop, and each riff sounds like what would happen if you gave a skilled guitarist an hour to play the two aforementioned Kreator records on shuffle, sat him down, and said “okay, play something like that.” Taking the work of your influences and improving upon it is admirable and no small feat; there’s a reason Saint Thomas Aquinas is probably the greatest philosopher the world has and will ever see. What’s not all that great is watering down your famous and well-respected influences (or, in the case of Vendetta’s early career, contemporaries) and making material that reminds the listener of their superior material. “Agency of Liberty” does exactly this, and evokes non-existent memories of a bland outtake from Enemy of God that never was. It sounds plausible in a sense, but upon searching through that record I didn’t find any Kreator material as uninspiring as this.

Uninspiring is as uninspiring does, and as such it’s hard to write anything notably insightful or intriguing about Vendetta’s latest record. The worst part is, it’s not that bad; if someone asked me to show them a bad thrash record, I wouldn’t put this on for them. Perhaps the best illustration is “Nevermind,” The 5th’s closing number. Vocalist Mario Vogel, who spent the preceding thirty-four minutes trying to sound as close to Mille Petrozza as possible, decides to do some clean vocals. They’re not earnestly bad or unconventional enough to work in the “passionate flawed performer” way, nor are they good enough to work in a conventional way. Instead, they sit somewhere in the dreaded middle, easily ignored and easier yet forgotten.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Massacre Records
Websites: vendetta-band.de | | facebook.com/vendetta.official.thrash.metal.page
Releases Worldwide: February 24th, 2017

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  • André Snyde Lopes

    Feel kinda bad for these guys. They never got any recognition when it came to the highest echelon of German thrash but “Go and Live… Stay and Die” and the even better follow-up “Brain Damage” are well worth checking out. After those they became a complete wash and a gigantic waste of potential.

    • I had Go and Live way back in high school and thought it was decent but never kept up with them after that. Was shocked to see they were back.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Haha, back in highschool I was just getting into Trivium, Kalmah and Evile, ffs. xD

        • Well if you were in high school in the later 80s you would have had a Vendetta cassette!

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Sometimes I kinda wish I was older/had gotten into metal earlier. It seems nearly endless the backlog of things one “must listen” to. It’s my 10th year anniversary as an avid metal listener and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface…

          • defjam

            Never wish you were older. Ask all the greybeards in this forum and they’ll tell you the same.

          • contenderizer

            I’m old. I wish I were young enough to wish I were older. So turnabout seems fair.

          • [not a Dr]

            I’m not even allowed to grow a beard.

          • defjam

            Initially I was not allowed to grow one myself and now I’m not allowed to shave it. Oh well, women.

          • [not a Dr]

            I believe I’m as Olde as the Steel Druhm, and I have barely scratched the surface myself. “Must listen to” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s > 3.0 (“good”) or even that you’ll like it. Sometimes, it’s just so you can like something else better, or to put some skill points in Knowledge (Obsolete Metal).

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Hell, I’ve been listening to Metal almost exclusively since 1989 and my backlog of “must listen to” stuff is just as nearly endless as yours. And I still discover amazing stuff from the 70s and 80s.

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          Pull Harder never ceases to turn me on

          • sir_c

            Pull Out in that case ;-)

    • Frost15

      Perfect comment.

  • Embridioum

    Dat Facebook URL.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Sad to say I couldn’t make it through the embedded track…

  • Treble Yell

    Goddammit, Beethoven, the first thing you do after rising from the dead is tinkle the ivories? At least go out and eat a hamburger or something. Live a little!

  • El_Cuervo

    This was at university level rather than high school (or our equivalent thereof) but I always rather enjoyed titling my essays. My favourite I wrote was:

    “Evisceration, Fornication and Preservation: Slasher Films in the Defence of Conservatism”.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      damn son chill out

    • GardensTale

      Thing I learned today: defence and defense are both correct but defense is the American form while defence is the norm in other English speaking countries.

      • El_Cuervo

        AKA what is foisted on us native English speakers by the overlords.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Americans expend so much more in guns that they got way past letter “C” all the way to letter “S” for their defense.

        • GardensTale

          This way they can write it as defen$e.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            You’re completely right!

    • Oberon

      Some Kind of Monstrous Feminie: The Deconstruction of Classic Films

      Philosophy and Film was possibly the worst class at my undergrad and master level degree

    • basenjibrian

      That’s actually pretty accurate! It was always the slut who was slashed!

      • El_Cuervo

        Which was precisely the purpose of my essay. It’s always the young people with ‘loose’ morals that got fucked by machetes, knives, chainsaws, etc.

  • herrschobel

    if someone calls Marx dumb i have to stop reading immediately … nothing good can come after that..

    • basenjibrian

      Yeah. He appears to be more and more prescient in his DESCRIPTION of ELEMENTS OF human society and economics, even if his followers’ PRESCRIPTIONS have fallen prey to the inherent nastiness of us primates with too much brainpower!

      • Iain Gleasure

        Wait, so if you write 1000 pages of ideas and a few of them turn out to be accurately describe something that means you are right? And people following bad ideas badly makes them the issue, not the creator?

        • basenjibrian

          When compared to the nonsense put out by mainstream conservative economics (which guides the clusterfuck of modern policymaking) I think Marx deserves a little more credit than this.

    • PanzerFistDominatrix

      Yeah, that was a pretty bizarre statement. You can be a frothing at the mouth libertarian factory owner and still recognise that Marx probably wasn’t stupid.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Marx made Platonic totalitarianism (cf The Republic and The Laws) even worse by not even bothering to figure out how it would all function after the slate was cleared…even though his odd historicism preaches that the coming of Communism is inevitable. This conveniently saved him from having to think through his awful utopian insights and their implications, and instead pretend that he found some unfalsifiable “scientific” law of historical development that necessitated his idea, therefore making it tenable even though he couldn’t be bothered to describe it beyond platitudes. That’s low-order sophistry, which can also be called dumb.

      • herrschobel

        sorry i am not going to discuss Marx with you on this website. It took me 15 years of ongoing philosophical and social Studies to grasp only a few of the concepts Marx – and others after him – were developing. Everything that could be said here would not do that any justice and I am not a friend of simplification. Calling Marx dumb is not only a horrible oversimplification, but also quite ‘dumb’. Marx is having quite a Renaissance, especially here in Germany. For a reason ! He was wrong about many things but he was also right in many other aspects about the workings of Human Society and Economics. Dismissing him as ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ is just not acceptable and i strongly suspect that you do not have the capacities to be the Judge of his actual Relevance. Good Day.

        • Iain Gleasure

          So you only grasp a few of Marx’s ideas yet you feel qualified to say that his entire body of thought wasn’t dumb?

          You don’t like simplification- so you don’t like rephrasing things to show an understanding of them that allows other people to also understand.

          Marx is having a Renaissance for a reason- which is?

          He was wrong about many things- maybe this is part of the reason Diabolus calls him and his ideas dumb.

          He was right about economics and society- how? Every time someone has used his ideas to change either it has failed. Smith is a much better guide for both.

          It is unacceptable to dismiss him as dumb- why, because some people agree with him? I guess all ideology and religion gets a free pass to do whatever it wants without criticism then.

          You lack the ability to judge- Marx wrote freely and all people have the ability to question and judge those ideas. Diabolus has shown ample proof of this philosophic knowledge to show he is more qualified than most to do so.

          • herrschobel

            and you are ? his Lawyer ? What exactly do i need to rephrase for you ? which is a silly thing in itself, because rephrasing does not necessarily show an understanding but the ability to – well -rephrase things. lovely thing the internet…you talk to one guy, another one jumps out of the bush…quite rude i have to say. do you do that in real life too ?
            –if you´d be really interested in why Marx has become relevant again, in circles much more elaborate than this website i might add…do some research for yourself…Adam Smith ? yeah sure…important figure…so Marx sucks because he is not Adam Smith..makes sense..nothing to learn from Marx..dumb idiot. period. dumb…just dumb,,,my 5 year old daughter uses that word a lot…she is also a very critical thinker …

            but you know what…one thing: Marx viewed capitalism as a more extreme form of domination than feudalism. In his view, in destroying work as craft and reducing workers to a specialized function, capitalism had eliminated creative expression in work, a component of life that, in his view, is fundamental to human essence. Capitalism, in Marx’s view, was a system in which workers were alienated from the process of production, which was imposed upon the worker as an alien force.

            quite something from his perspective, ey ?..historical perspective i mean…and quite true from mine in the 21st century….so yeah…i think he is relevant today !

          • [not a Dr]

            His gardener.

          • herrschobel

            i like rude gardeners

        • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

          I can’t tell if this is satire or not. Wonderful!

          • herrschobel

            very lazy and pointless reply…..is that all you got ? after spitting out THE most common and downtrodden criticism on Marx ? i mean every greedy stock broker on Wall street has heard THAT in College. Completely ignoring his widespread recognition as one of the first and most foresighted Analysts of Capitalism, Automation, Globalisation and economic Class Systems ? sophistry of the lowest order i have to say.

            “even though his odd historicism preaches that the coming of Communism is inevitable.” that sentence alone is complete nonsense…did you actually read Marx ? not about him, but actually Marx himself ?

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Try thinking things through instead of resorting to low energy name-calling. You’ve responded to none of my claims yet spew empty jargon and unwarranted arrogance nonetheless; the only thing you’ve missed is calling me “bourgeois” while you’re at it.

          • herrschobel

            see…now that is what i call arrogant…condescending statements like that…maybe i did think ‘things’ through and came to a very different conclusion. Esp. regarding Marx…i stand to my initial statement that i find it it very stupid and oversimplified to call someone like Karl Marx dumb. The terminology alone is highly inappropriate. Neglecting the significance and acuteness of his Observations about Capitalism, the consequences of automation, the ongoing globalisation and economic class Systems falls awfully short ! ok ?

            i simply doubt that you are smarter than people like Eric Hobsbawm, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Paul Sartre or Max Horkheimer….people whose ideas i am actually familiar with and who hold Marx and his significance in high regard. Not without critical analysis of course. And maybe not always his Analysis but his Method OF Analysis.

            You might wanna keep calling Marx a Moron but maybe the Morons are those who have always misinterpreted his ideas as deterministic. This is not my idea but is something i have learned from Eric Hobsbawn himself who i was lucky enough to interview for a documentary about Neomarxism in the 21st century. But maybe he is a Moron as well. Anyhow English is only a second or third language to me so this gets exhausting. Would we do this in german i might eat you alive :-).

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            RE Sartre: I’ve not denied the existence of something evil for years like he did Soviet gulags, so I’ve got that going for me. Also, Marx’s correspondence (especially with/about his father) shows a man with despicable ethics.

            This entire thing has turned into reverse McCarthyism (assuming I think anyone with anything to do with Marx is an “idiot”), and being called “arrogant” for saying that an empty, insult-driven reply was an empty, insult-driven reply is ludicrous.

            My point is, and always was, that you made an assertion, and asked me to back mine up. I did, and you addressed zero points that I’ve made. Condescension, appeals to authority, orthodox Marxist “not what he meant” hand-wringing (which incidentally is an even more common position than mine allegedly is), and name-calling doesn’t constitute an argument or rebuttal. You also failed to consider that one comment has not exhausted my knowledge of Marx or the Manifesto.

          • herrschobel

            i see…you are in it to win it. so you just won the internet ! Prost, cheers and congrats. like i said before: it´s exhausting and i lost interest at this point. i gotta get some new tattoos done, a few beers in me and enjoy the real shit. sooooooooo…..

            Post Scriptum//
            I said you are arrogant because you tell people to “try thinking this through” if they don´t agree with your points. So please don´t twist my words here. i also never asked you to “back up” anything. You felt the need to because you felt provoked by some random person on the Interwebs… but thats not the same thing.
            So Hooray and more Power to you !

  • Ferrous Beuller

    My copy of the Communist Manifesto just burst into flames.

    • harqalada

      I mean, how dumb do you have to be to think that how people make their living might determine their worldview, or that historical change might be driven by conflict between economic classes?

    • [not a Dr]

      The paper one, the PDF, or the tattoo?

      • Ferrous Beuller

        All three… and make that order.

  • Rob Nine

    I like it! I’ll take retro thrash any day.

  • beurbs

    Well I guess the ol’ 5 paragraph format isn’t completely useless eh?

  • Monsterth Goatom

    You’d think with a career spanning several decades the band would have garnered more than just five reviews.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I’d be more impressed if “Let ‘er Rip” was titled “Just Give’r”.

  • Kronos

    Denigrating the fine name of Karl Marx? I won’t have it. Das a kapital offense!

  • Wilhelm

    Not horrible. but like most modern thrash, it just sounds overproduced and underwhelming. I almost want to say I would prefer this to the newest Kreator stuff, but I would leave both at the door TBH.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Who came up with that “Violent Revolution” remark on the front page? Was that you, Steel Druhm? I called you old before, now it’s my turn to be old… “Violent Revolution” is not “vintage” Kreator, it is “new” Kreator! It’s “only” 16 years old!

  • lennymccall

    I only just discovered Go and Live, Stay and Die maybe 7 or 8 years ago. I thought it was fantastic for a record from the 80s. I’ll check this out but it sounds like I will be sorely disappointed.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I listened to the embedded track and to me it didn’t sound like Kreator at all. Maybe because I think of Kreator as first rate Thrash Metal.

  • defjam

    These guys were signed to Noise Records back in the day which reminds me that they would supposedly reissue some of their catalogue having been acquired by BMG. Does anyone know if this will happen after all? I am looking forward to buy again my Coroner, Celtic Frost etc albums.

  • GWW

    This sounds on par with new Kreator’s Satan is Real.

  • Jeremy Freeman

    Son of Kreator

  • joanismylover

    Logging in to register my objection not to the Marx remark, but to the substance of the review. These Germans are thrashing pretty hard on this release. I like it way better than Kreator’s last couple of records – what with their “melodic” approach and lyrics about feelings. There’s something to like about all these songs. If you don’t like the riff on “the Prophecy” pretty much you don’t like metal and should go listen to Powerwolf or something.

    Negatives – terrible album cover, acoustic track to close it out.

    Positives in addition to above – cowbell on “Shame on You”