Metal To Infinity

Last week I wrote the review for the new Meliah Rage album entitled “Dead To The World”, a real pleasure for me to hear these guys still playing their stuff as it should be – the old school way. About the same period Meliah Rage has been formed, also Bitter End appeared on the Seattle's horizon with their own way of playing technical Thrash Metal! Formed by the brothers Matt (vocals / guitar) and Chris (bass) Fox. Back in the early '80s the brothers attended gigs of their idols: Megadeth, Slayer, Exodus, Metallica – shortly after, Matt and Chris were decided to form their own band in this style. A few other members completed the ranks – Bitter End was born and ready to rumble! First recording they ever delivered to the Underground Metal scene was a demo called “Meet Your Maker” in 1988 but there was more underway to unleash…

Bitter End’s debut album “Harsh Realities” saw the light of day back in 1990 through Metal Blade Records. Back then, metalheads who were longing to hear their stuff in a thrashing / technical way – well, what they had to do was to buy this album. Legendary metal mags like Kerrang and Metal Forces were generous in giving points to “Harsh Realities” and that was highly deserved actually! Such a great effort loaded with memorable tracks like ‘Sex and Death’, ‘Beat The System’, ‘Profits Of Doom’, ‘Meet Your Maker, ‘Waiting For Death’ and more – all of them are pure classics to me. I will underline my dismay regarding how some individuals underrated it when the album came out. Well, I call them disrespectful people and that’s it!

Bitter End have not missed their start, I think, so a follow up was to be released sooner or later. The songs for a second Bitter End album were written and recorded, but the band had to look for a record label. The underground Metal scene went through hard times back in the early '90s, labels seemed to be only interested in more mainstream bands so they could cash in quickly, which makes me sick. And then there was the goddamn Grunge music scene that killed our own precious Metal movement – the Underground Metal experienced very rough times those days! That’s why the second album of Bitter End never saw the light of day… until now! Attacked by the Grunge scene and record companies on the hunt for big money many years ago, I'm proud to say that we, the general Metal movement have won the battle and it feels good, yes it does!!

We should be grateful to all the record companies that were established as years passed by – people with a heart for authentic old school Metal able to discover all the great stuff that was lost throughout the years. One of those labels is without a doubt Metal On Metal Records – a while ago they released something really precious to me – I'm talking about the second, six song album of Bitter End, officially put out nearly 20 years after!

Considering both music and the packing, Metal On Metal Records always deliver their stuff very professionally. Bitter End's the new album (with older songs) is titled “Have A Nice Death!’ and everything looks awesome once again. Pictures, biography, hand written by the vocalist lyrics… you won’t miss a thing – be sure about that!

With a running time of about 67 minutes, you got some great technical Thrash Metal featuring the entire second output that was lost through times, their “Meet Your Maker’ demo originally recorded in 1988 and four live songs from 1990 – the sound quality of the live works might be not that good, but it’s very rare stuff and I'm really pleased with it! Music wise, there is no big difference between “Harsh Realities” and Bitter End’s second output. Technical Power / Thrash Metal with quite unique Dave Mustaine alike vocals, fast galloping guitar riffs, sharp and melodic killer solos, high level bass lines and intense drumming.

To get an impression of all these features just start listening to the opener ‘Tiny Minds’. The rhythm and pace on ‘Right To Lie’ is slower but still played with a lot of power and might. ‘Burning Bridges’ starts to play and there we go again – outstanding technical US Thrash Metal alternating with easy parts and quite unusual vocal use. No matter what, another great song to me! But the best has yet to come – be prepared for a track called ‘No Law’. Fast and pure, right in your face US Thrash Metal showing a perfect co-operation between bass and guitar riffs/solos… AWESOME! The official and second album of Bitter End has two more songs: the great ‘Sludge’ and last one ‘Tunnel Vision’ – both considered by me very convincing ones!

That was the first part of “Have A Nice Death!” album – next four compositions on the CD are the original tracks from their 1988 demo “Meet Your Maker”. I’ve heard these four songs before on the “Harsh Realities” album – hearing them now in demo versions makes me a really satisfied person. Those were the days when we all kept ourselves busy with collecting demo tapes but I never had the chance to catch the “Meet Your Maker” demo from Bitter End – well, thank you Metal On Metal Records! What's left on “Have A Nice Death” are four live tracks, but as mentioned before, the sound quality is not very high but okay, these are collector items to me so no reason to complain!

Yeah, “Have A Nice Death!” brings a great band like Bitter End back to live. They were gone for so many years but they got back together as it seems. Preparing themselves for a few live performances next year, these guys can count on my support – maybe they will play a few European gigs as well… let’s hope so! Bitter End struggled through hard times but the main point is – they’re back with a vengeance and Metal mission to complete! Fans of technical Power / Thrash Metal in the vein of very early Megadeth, Forte, Atrophy, Prowler, Intruder, Forced Entry… should have already ordered “Have A Nice Death!” at:

My Points: 92 / 100 (Review by Stefan)