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The early 1980's were dominated by political tension throughout Europe and Malta was no exception. Towns and villages had gangs of teens ready to destabilize society and in Tarxien, something was coming to a boil with young metalheads disturbing the peace at 'The Bandli’ and running havoc in the narrow streets of this quiet village. A group of teens including 5 musicians tried to form a band!! Ray Micallef (Hamiemu) assumed the responsibility to form the army, Ray Schembri (Il-Bahri) came with the name, VANDALS. Mysterious circumstances occurred simultaneously to forge the name that would become every mother's nightmare.

Mark Crusher joined the band in the beginning of 1984 and soon the band started writing material and played 2 gigs in Tarxien, of which one ended with the police arresting Il-Bahri concerning some violent accidents which occurred a week before.

In 1985 the band played the Malta Sajf Festival and the Maltese music scene was shocked by the fast speed metal riffs the Vandals introduced to a generally laid-back audience relaxing with drink and pot. The Vandals were loud and fast, and the band started, after some months gaining, momentum by gigging frequently. Soon they had a big following and the concerts were selling during which the crowd started the first slam diving from the stage. 

This reputation solidified the band's participation in the much-awaited Malta Sajf festival for years, while playing gigs around the island. During that time, the band recorded some tapes, which were only distributed amongst friends. Mark left the band in 1989 and moved to the UK which although a major setback, the band managed to eventually find replacements in Albert Bell on bass and Rusty on vocals. The band also recruited Mark's brother Al Crusher to join for a heavier sound.
With this line up the band started to write new material and prepared a set up for a number of shows titled BACK THROUGH THE AGES with Barbarian style of clothing, backdrops and a heavier Thrash Metal style. At this time someone brought up the idea of a Thrash Metal Live Opera and BEDROCK 1991-2091 was conceived, a fiction story of Modern Federal Europe dominated by wars and conflicts in which the band played 6 new songs. The cast was made from other bands musicians and people from the Vandals’ concerts crowd. During those years, the band released a video titled 'Crusading Sinners', and a demo tape called 'The Rise of Evil', which they tape traded in many countries around the world.

Soon after Albert, Rusty and Aldo left the band to start other projects, while Josem on vocals, James on bass and Jason on guitar were recruited and the band moved into a more Thrash/Death Metal style.

With this line up the band played 2 gigs in Torri Tigne, a venue they weren't allowed to play before, because of a policy made by the AST organisation.

Around 1994 the band went on a hiatus. Ray Micallef, Ray Schembri and James Spiteri continued to gig with Abstrass, a band formed by Erich Azzopardi in the 80's. Micallef also played in Lord Adder together with ex Vandals Mark Crusher, who moved back from the UK and his brother Al. Schembri started the anarcho punk band SUBCULTURE and RAGE AGAINST SOCIETY + many other punk bands!

During an ABSTRASS band practice, Rusty paid a visit and came up with the idea of a Vandals revamp, to which the band agreed after some more meetings and beer. In 2003 the band changed the name to X-VANDALS and work on what was the band's full-length debut album 'Erosion Of Our Liberties' commenced. The album was influenced by Thrash/HC Punk both lyrically and musically and the band played gigs and festivals frequently. 

A couple of years later the band recorded the second album 'Breach The Silence', which was released on 13th June 2009. At this stage the band decided to add another guitarist for a more heavier sound, and the choice fell on Mark Azzopardi (ex-Martyrium). With Mark the band flirted with a darker music style and laid the foundations for the next album titled 'Exhume The Truth', which was released in 2016, when Mark had already left the band and went to live in Sweden.

2018 was the band's 35th anniversary. DJ Noel Mifsud (ONE Radio/allRock Radio insisted that a celebration is a must!

Ray Micallef came up with the idea to ask Albert Bell (ex Vandals bassist) to join and play on some tracks from the 1990's catalogue as a guest. Their first practice was exciting and felt as if it was 1990 again. During this celebration Mark Crusher and Aldo joined the band for a set from the 1980's catalogue, while the other guests were drummer Karen 'Grinder' (Delirium), daughter of Ray Micallef and a performance by Kyle and Nick Spiteri, sons of X-Vandals  bassist James.

During the night the band released their 4th album a compilation titled, 35 Years Of Metal 1983-2018, and the 35th anniversary t-shirts to mark the date. This night could not have happened without the help and support of the band's friend Mark Manicolo from Team Jalen kickboxing club. Organisation was up to REJECTS.COM, who organised a night which will forever be annexed in the story of Maltese metal history. 

It was a milestone for the band and on Ray Micallef's idea, the band asked Albert Bell to join the band permanently as their guitarist, marking the beginning of a new chapter, with the band immersed into writing new music and playing live around the island. Two appearances at the Farsons Beer Festival led to the release of the DVD 'Who We Are', in 2018 with the support and patience of Alan Zammit, one of the band's videographers.

During the Covid-19 period, apathy was haunting X-Vandals, but with the perseverance of Ray Micallef, the band came out of that period with determination to start working steadily on the next album.

2023 marks the band's 40th anniversary and the release of the 5th X-Vandals album.

Band Members


James Spiteri

Vocals, Bass, Guitars

Albert Bell


Stefan 'Rusty' Curmi

Vocals, Guitars

Ray "il-bahri" Xkembri


Ray "Hamiemu" Micallef



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