Vendetta - Go and Live... Stay and Die - February, 1987
If you were to put me in a time machine and send me back to say, March 1987, and then ask me who I thought was the best German thrash metal band at that point, I'd be hard pressed not to say Vendetta. While their brethren in bands like Kreator and Destruction were pushing the boundaries of extreme metal, Vendetta were clearly paying attention to what was going on across the Atlantic as they sounded much more like bands playing in California rather than Germany.
Right from the start, there is a clear emphasis on riffs. With a crisp and clear production, there are passages that are as fast as any, but the band also demonstrates a clear understanding of dynamics with chugging, grooving parts that echo some of the better offerings by bands like Metallica and Exodus. Vendetta even border on prog at some points, keeping the listener wondering with riff and time changes throughout the album's 38 minutes.
It's baffling that Vendetta didn't make a bigger name for themselves, because this is a very excellent addition to the thrash metal story. Sure, the vocals aren't anything special but certainly don't take away from the music, and while some songs seem to meander or lose their way at times, they are definitely well-executed for the most part. This is probably the best yet of those diamonds-in-the-rough that have made this exercise so damn enjoyable.
Standouts: Systems of Death, Revolution Command, Go and Live... Stay and Die