HistoryLiving Death was formed in 1981 in Velbert, Germany and initially featured Frank Schubring on drums. The line-up of Thorsten Bergmann on vocals, Frank Fricke and Reiner Kelch on guitars, Dieter Kelch on bass and Schubring recorded a self-titled demo in 1982. Mausoleum Records soon picked the speed metallers up and issued Vengeance Of Hell in 1984, which featured session drummer Eric. Axel Thubeauville, owner of the Earthshaker label, produced the album. The group’s name soon spread on the metal scene for its trademark sound and cover artwork. The band hit the road with Warlock. While popular quickly Living Death immediately raised the ire of many reviewers who criticized the high-pitched voice of Bergmann. With drummer Andreas Oberhoff in the line-up the band issued an EP called Watch Out through Earthshaker Records in 1985. Metal Revolution was out soon thereafter and probably was the band’s most successful record owing to songs like Grippin’ A Heart and Rulers Must Come. The group next landed on the local Aarrg label and issued the Back To Weapons EP in 1986. This released featured nomadic drummer Atomic Steif and is better-known for its explicit cover.
Protected From Reality was a heavy affair. Living Death had apparently taken note of the critics’ opinion and adjusted its sound. 1988’s Live EP featured drummer Andreas Oberhoff. Worlds Neuroses, featuring Mr. Atomic, arrived in 1988. Fred was on guitar. 1991’s Killing In Action was on yet another label and featured new singer Gerald Thelen. It showcased a band which was a shadow of its former glory attempting a slower sound.
Following the release of Worlds Neuroses in 1988 Bergmann, Fred and Atomic Steif left the band. In 1989 founders Reiner and Dieter Kelch left the band by name. They are replaced by ex-Holy Moses guitar player Georgie and ex-Violent Force bass player Lemmy and formed a new band called L.D.
Sacred Chao was the title for a Living Death song. Neither band lasted much longer thereafter. The group found its way to the USSR in 1989. Living Death was to perform one last show at 2009’s Keep It True XII festival in April in Germany. The band was Toto Bergmann (vocals), Reiner Kelch (guitar), Dieter Kelch (bass) and Jörg Michael as usual on drums.
Several band members formed a X-Mas Project to play the obvious tunes and also contributed to the initially mysterious Mekong Delta.