Friday started off as a sunny and “nice” day, however, as the hours passed, the skies kept turning darker and darker with rain eventually falling on us – the perfect atmosphere for a death metal gig and especially a dark headlining Vader show. The touring panzer, that Vader is, demolished everything in its sight and left The Underworld in London without any prisoners. The band’s reception was even so overwhelming for the vocalist/guitarist (and founding member), Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek, that he exclaimed on stage (in Polish) that it’s never been like this here before. Indeed, the sold out show was packed with Vader maniacs. The death metal veterans, however, were not the only attraction that night. While Aborted blastbeated everything in its way, Bonded by Blood thrashed the hell out of the audience.
Unfortunately, due to interviews with James (Vader drummer) and Sven (Aborted vocalist), I missed the opening act’s, Adimiron, show and most of Bonded by Blood. Nevertheless, from the last two songs I caught, the sound and the thrash atmosphere was perfect. The band delivered a passionate, energetic, classic-sounding thrash performance. This is definitely a band to watch out for if old-school thrash is your cup of tea.
After a 15-minute line check and a chat or two with some random Polish people by the bar, Aborted entered the stage and brought to us blast beat after blast beat after break down after break down and oooooooooh why aren’t you headbanging yet?! It was a straight-on, tight as hell, no bullshit deathcore/death metal performance. The mosh pit was active constantly and I don’t think I could see anyone who was not moving his/her head in admiration of the brutal rhythms that Aborted presented. Again, as Bonded by Blood and as usual as it is at The Underworld, the sound was excellent and the lighting added even more to their stage appearance. The band performed tracks from their latest album Global Flatline as well as some hits (not radio hits though, fortunately or unfortunately…). As Sven (vocalist) exclaimed: FUCK DUBSTEP!
As soon as the Belgians finished their set, Slayer tracks started playing in the background and the crew prepared the stage for the headliner. I know I’ve said it many times but I like repeating myself… the “underground” atmosphere at metal shows is priceless and that’s how it always is for me at The Underworld in London. You can find the band members by the bar or merch stand and talk to them, you talk to everyone (if you feel like it) and everyone’s a friend because we are all here for the same cause – to listen to our favourite music genre! And it’s in the metal underground where you will usually find the most passionate people; there was even a guy who saw the same bands the night before in Bristol and made the trip to London just to see them again!
After a half hour’s or so wait, with the lights going off the death metal legends slowly started appearing on stage; James, the drummer being the first one. When you heard everyone shouting out “Vader” repeatedly (and the occasional “napierdalać” in Polish) you could definitely say that everyone was there to see the band. Straight after the intro tape, Peter and crew went into the classic “Sothis” which caused the crowd to go crazy right away. Following that we heard “The Wrath” (also of the Sothis EP), “Fractal Light” and the amazing opener of the Black to the Blind album, “Heading for Internal Darkness”. It was the classic track “Carnal”, however, that the crowd seemed to anticipate most and went straight into the rituals of headbanging and moshing. Of course, as promised, there were more Black to the Blind tracks including “Distant Dream”, “True Names”, “The Red Passage” or the classic title track.
Black to the Blind and Sothis were not performed in order as they were recorded on disc but rather mixed around – although some tracks did come one after the other just like on disc. We also witnessed them play tracks off the newest album: “Welcome to the Morbid Reich” and “Come and See My Sacrifice” – by this point Peter exclaimed how overwhelmed he was by the crowd’s overall participation and excitement. Towards the end when the band disappeared and the intro tape went on everyone knew what is coming up…of course it was: “Black Sabbath” and probably the best ever interpretation of that track. It is darker, heavier and more brutal than the original. That was not the end, although Vader could have easily filled their set with original songs off their enormous back catalogue, they finished with their amazing interpretation of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” (better than the original? Very probable). Now the mosh pit was CRAZY. I got my dose of extreme metal, if you were there you probably got yours as well.
Check out fan-filmed footage of Vader’s performance:
This tour is coming to an end on the 10th February in Alkmaar (The Netherlands) but Vader are not in a hurry to get off the road; they will be returning to the stages this March and April to visit most of Eastern Europe, Italy, Spain, Portugal and several festivals including Neurotic Deathfest.