1983 is a hell of a long time ago, and Malta was a completely different country back then. Never mind all the changes in technology, culture and infrastructure that have happened over the last 35 years; some of you reading this weren’t even born. But if there’s one thing that’s remained the same, it’s one local metal band shredding stages all over the island. And now, three and a half decades later, they’re coming back.
Back in August of ’83, Ray Micallef (known as il-Ħamiemu) formed the band Vandals. Six years of instability later, the speed thrash metal band stabilised as a trio, seeing Ħamiemu being joined by Mark il-Crusher and Ray il-Baħri. One final line-up change for the decade saw Mark emigrating to the UK, the band becoming a five-piece, and Vandals earning a substantial following in the local scene.
By the turn of the decade, Vandals had established themselves as one of the hottest, heaviest bands on the island… and the scene loved every loud, sloppy moment.
However, after yet another line-up change, the band split in 1994, just over a decade after having been formed
What followed for local (and by then international) fans of Malta’s beloved thrash metalheads was 10 whole years of silence.
Then, in 2006, as metal was experiencing a resurgence (and rebranding), Ħamiemu and Baħri joined forces again, enlisting the help of Rusty on vocals and Nemlu on bass to return to the scene under the name X-Vandals.
X-Vandals’ debut album Erosion of our Liberty featured old favourites alongside new tracks, and it was quickly followed up by the 2008 Breach the Silence which also had the 90s sound so many people had come to know, love and expect from the members. Back then, Mark Zlayer had also joined as another guitarist for about four years.
Against all odds and now back as a four-piece band, X-Vandals are still making music over three decades later
Last year, X-Vandals released their third album, Exhume the Truth, a whole 34 years after first being formed. Keeping the same sound and vibe alive, the band is already working on their fourth album… but first, a celebration of everything’s that built up to this point is in order.
X-Vandals’ 35th Anniversary gig is just round the corner!
Embracing the forever young and energetic nature of metal, the four-piece will be hitting the stage this November for a heavy trip down memory lane, and they’re bringing some friends from the scene with them.
Taking to the metal scene’s latest haven The Garage in Żebbuġ, X-Vandals will also be joined by a couple of artists on the night.
It all goes down on Saturday 24th November, so start getting ready to moshpit the night away.