Bitter End - Have A Nice Death!

There are some relatively unknown gems in the metal community which have resurrected themselves in this era of thrash resurgence. Bitter End is one of those bands.

With vocals as strong as Mustaine, technically sophisticated guitars coupled with melodic solos, and lyrics dealing with societal injustices reminiscent of familiar Suicidal Tendencies or Nuclear Assault we scratch our heads wondering why they did not achieve the same fame as Megadeth or Anthrax. Unfortunately, Bitter End didn't release their first full-length album until 1990, which many say was the year marking the demise of metal. Grunge was beginning to dominate record labels and during the early 90's metal was forced back into the underground. Unfortunately, in 1992 members of Bitter End went their separate ways.

It's fantastic to see these guys release a compilation of old school thrash in 2011. "Have A Nice Death!" incorporates their 1988 demo "Meet Your Maker", live tracks from a 1990 Seattle gig, and several unreleased recordings from 1991/1992. Overall, this release is a powerhouse of thrash. The great raspy vocal work coupled with the technical speeding guitar work is just fantastic. Although, they are comparable to Megadeth they don't quite have the heaviness or intensity but they do dominate in speed and technicality. "Tiny Minds" presents the album with a speeding guitar solo then crushes with intense bass riffs. "Tunnel Vision" again presents with intense guitar work but this time it is more melodic and brings with it funky bass and pummeling drums. While the overall song is undeniably thrash, you can hear some hints at 90s era Layne Staley type vocals, which isn't much of a surprise considering these guys are from Seattle. While some die hard thrashers may not like this, it works with the song and brings a great mix of thrash and hints of grunge. Interestingly enough, according to Encyclopaedia Metallum, "Matt Fox (vocals/guitar) was a close friend to Alice In Chains' Layne Staley. He was asked to join Layne's band in 1989, but stayed with Bitter End." Furthermore, this song has great lyrics and this Layne Staley-thrashing vocal sound is the true gem of the album.

"Have a Nice Death!" is truly fantastic release and it's great when these old releases are brought back to life with previous unheard recordings. Definitely pick this one up you will not be disappointed!

1. Tiny Minds
2. Right To Lie
3. Burning Bridges
4. No Law
5. Sludge
6. Tunnel Vision
7. Meet Your Maker (demo bonus track)
8. Save Us (demo bonus track)
9. Beat The System (demo bonus track)
10. Living Hell (demo bonus track)
11. Right To Lie (live bonus track)
12. Profits Of Doom (live bonus track)
13. Tiny Minds (live bonus track)
14. No Law (live bonus track)