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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Vengeance - 1987 Take It Or Leave It
Vengeance - 1987 Take It Or Leave It

ARTIST: Vengeance
ALBUM: Take It Or Leave It
SERIAL: CBS 460070 1 (LP), CBS 460070 2 (CD)
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 1998, Pseudonym, CDP 1059 DD


LINEUP: Leon Goewie - vocals * Arjen Lucassen - guitars * Peter Verschuren - guitars * Jan Bijlsma - bass * John Snels - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Take It Or Leave It * 02 Code Of Honour * 03 Rock 'n' Roll Shower * 04 Take Me To The Limit * 05 Engines * 06 Hear Me Out * 07 Women In The World * 08 Looks Of A Winner * 09 Ain't Gonna Take You Home * 10 Tonight Tonight (Live) * 11 Only The Wind (special remix)

Dutch band Vengeance had it's formation take place in 1983. Initially the combination of bassist Bijlsma and original guitarist Oscar Hollemann, who were previously with the local band Hackett, while Lucassen came from Euro metallers Bodine. Though the band released their debut the following year, it wasn't until their second album 1986's 'We Have Ways To Make You Rock' that Vengeance started making any impact. By this stage, the band had generated enough interest throughout Europe, and as such, were favourites among the metal media at the time, including Metal Hammer. Musically, their chainsaw like guitarwork invoked memories of bands operating at the same time, such as Victory and Pretty Maids. Also the band had undergone some lineup changes with Peter Verschuren coming in for Oscar Hollemann, while John Snels had replaced original drummer Matthieu Oligschlager.

The Songs
Certainly the music is uptempo heavy-as-you-please metal, with a happy-go-lucky, near party attitude about it. However, the album is populated with various bits of orchestration, classical instruments frequently pop up from time to time. This is no doubt due to Arjen Lucassen's involvement, a trait that would show up on many of his own recordings in the future. In singer Leon Goewie, the similarity to future Victory singer Fernando Garcia is indeed noticeable. Take a listen to the fantastic riffing on the title track 'Take It Or Leave It' for instance. 'Code Of Honour' has a very Victory-like feel to it, but 'Rock n Roll Shower' though indicative of the era, veers on the side of cheesiness. This ended up being one of their best known tracks. The excellent 'Take Me To The Limit' is perhaps one of their heavier efforts followed by the euro-metal instrumental 'Engines'. Check out the strange ending to this song. The obligatory power ballad takes the form of 'Women In The World', a nice acoustic introduction making way from some soaring electric guitar further on. A live rendition of 'Tonight Tonight' (from their debut album), plus a remix of 'Only The Wind' (from 'We Have Ways To Make You Rock') are featured on this version of the CD.

In Summary
This probably should've been the album to break the band, but unfortunately that didn't happen. They did release a few more albums over the years including 1989's 'Arabia', and even renowned singer Ian Parry joined during the early nineties. Though Vengeance laid low for a few years, they are currently in that hazy area in between active and inactive, with occasional appearances with a changed lineup. Lucassen has since become the mastermind behind the awesome Aryeon project, a handful of albums being the end result. Definitely a band worth following up if you are a fan of Euro-metal. They have two compilation CD's that are easy enough to get a hold of.

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