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Living Death was formed in 1980 in Velbert, Germany by Reiner and Dieter Kelch, and Frank Fricke, starting out as a simple heavy metal band. In 1981 drummer Frank Schubring and vocalist Thorsten "Toto" Bergmann joined. A year later they recorded their self-titled demo, resulting in 1983 in a deal with Earthshaker. Later that year Frank Schubring left the band and was replaced by Harald Lutze.
In 1984 Living Death released their rough-sounding debut album Vengeance of Hell which, despite poor production quality, sold well in all independent charts. Living Death then went on tour in support of Warlock; after which they fired drummer Harald Lutze and replaced him with Andreas Overhoff. In January 1985 they released the EP Watch-Out! with three remixed songs from the first LP and the self-titled track. In August Metal Revolution was released. A year later they signed a deal with Aaarrg Records and the EP Back to the Weapons was recorded; shortly before its release they found a new drummer, Atomic Steif.
In 1987, the album Protected from Reality was released, followed by 1988's Live EP, featuring four songs off their second album.
After the release of their fourth studio album Worlds Neuroses in 1989, band members Toto, Fred, and Atomic Steif left the band (and recorded one EP as Sacred Chao, taking the name from a song on Worlds Neuroses). The remaining Living Death members then recruited vocalist Gerald Thelen and drummer Frank Ullrich as replacements. With this line-up Living Death split up in 1991 after the release of Killing In Action.
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