Review of the Album "Brain Damage" by German Thrash Metal Band Vendetta
How is The Album "Brain Damage" an Example of Old School Thrash Metal?
German thrash metal band Vendetta released what is described as “old school thrash metal” in 1988 when they released their second studio album called Brain Damage. At first thought, this is a rather peculiar title for an album but the music in it is anything but average. Old school thrash metal pretty much consisted of thrash metal in which it was dominated by speed with vocals that were of the screaming, high pitched variety.
The Song War is More Than Just a Thrash Metal Song
The first song on the album called War is very much a song that the message is that we must detest war in all its forms. Do we really want war when we can have peace in this world? One of the consequences of war is that there is suffering and many people have lost their lives. We definitely need a more peaceful world and a better time as the song says. But are we willing as a world to put in the time and effort involved for a more peaceful world? Not as long as there is too much greed.
The Songs War and "Brain Damage" Set the Tone for How the Album is Going to Be
This album was made at a time when there was much change and upheaval particularly in Germany because the Berlin Wall would eventually fall and Germany would become a unified country. This is the band’s last full-length album before they would disband in 1990. That was the first time that these guys disbanded but they would return being even better. The progressive influenced title track is a song about what can happen to an alcoholic that craves drinking beer. He can take his life away without feeling the need to live.
The Importance of the Song "Conversation" by the Band Vendetta
Conversation is a song that raises the point that we need social justice and peace. The way that we can achieve these goals is through effective conversation and dialogue. But as has been the case in capitalist America, too much partisanship has not made this possible and we are even seeing these kinds of things happen in 2018. Back in 1988, Vendetta realized these flaws that exist in these developed countries and they chose to address the values of social justice and peace as a way to counteract that negativity in the political arena. There is a choice to fight with weapons but if we are going to fight for something, we should fight for social change using tactics of speaking out against injustices, signing petitions banning counterproductive policies and just encourage a sort of peace movement.
How is the Rest of This Second Album by Vendetta?
The song Precious Existence is a song about how humans evolved as they were born to live and die. The next song called Never Die is a song that questions the claims of an afterlife as there are people that will deny death or they will be afraid of it. As a Christian, I believe there is an afterlife but for now, we must enjoy our life on this planet to the fullest. The one-minute plus song called Love Song is encouraging us to love each other and ourselves. Fade to Insanity is an almost 7 minute instrumental song that has a classically influenced part in the beginning before it gets heavier. This is something that bands at the time especially Metallica would do. Vendetta also has written a song in which they express their dissent against all acts of violence. The name of this song is called Dominance of Violence and in the song they say that it is these politicians that try to do what they can to make money, buy power and influence as wars are started for bad reasons.
How Has the Album Brain Damage Fared Musically Over Time?
Overall, the album Brain Damage is a very solid album from these German guys having also progressive influences. However it is not as good as their 2007 album called Hate. But back in 1988, Germany was flexing its muscles in the genre of thrash metal and they would only grow stronger, getting to its peak in the mid 2000’s. But how does this album compare to Vendetta’s debut album you might ask? The start of the album with the song War sounds like a better version of Exodus. Not to take anything away from those Bay Area veterans however, Vendetta being from the great nation of Germany seems to genetically have the upper hand on Exodus. War also is a song that has that Iron Maiden influence in it hence the progressive nature of that song is in there. And of course, the title track has a beautiful acoustic style beginning before it gets heavy. Brain Damage in spite of its title will not damage your brain and it is a melodic progressive thrash metal kind of album that is quite enjoyable even in 2019 so it has definitely aged very well over time.
© 2018 Ara Vahanian