The Underworld Camden is known to be home to some of London’s most mental gigs and I finally saw for myself during Vader’s Blitz! Europe In Fire. I’ve been a fan of Vader for quite a while especially with albums like ‘Litany’ and ‘The Ultimate Incantation’ which boast all the good things about death metal – monstrous solos, supersonic riffs, relentless blast beats, the list can go on. Needless to say the fact that they were playing alongside Hate, the line-up was just one you’d be extremely stupid to miss if you are indeed a metal enthusiast.
Shredhead were the first band of the night and to say they ripped the place apart would be an understatement. I always make it a standard rule to never miss the opening acts if I can help it and till date, I’ve never been disappointed. It’s also even more exciting when you’ve never heard a band’s music before – you go into their show with no expectations and then they turn out to be insane. The first thing that caught my attention about this band was the sheer monstrous amounts of energy they had throughout their set. There was non-stop headbanging and movement on stage which psyched the now increasing crowds. Shredhead play a very fast, and catchy groove induced thrash metal, the frontman sounding like an Anselmo disciple (he did tell me he was a massive fan). They had so much energy, that it got a good few limbs flailing around the place. Speaking to a few other punters in the crowd, there were not too many people who seemed familiar with the Israeli band but were certainly digging every bit of their set and style. They definitely gained a horde of new fans that night!
The Underworld was pretty packed at this point (as it rightly should be) as the crowd began its yells and cheers to welcome special guests Polish death metallers Hate. It’s safe to say that this band, commanding the crowd with the most brutal demeanor, will have you headbanging at abnormal speeds the second they start playing. Playing a crowd-pleaser of a set, there were both old and new tracks – some old classics like ‘Erebos’, ‘Ressurection Machine’ and one of my favourite Hate tunes ‘Hex’. Of course, having released their latest record earlier in the year, we got a few new songs from Crusade:Zero like ‘Valley of Darkness’ and ‘Leviathan’, songs that definitely sounded better in a live setting. The whole band has an immensely haunting and eerie stage presence, a kind which has an almost hypnotic effect on you with their breakneck speed style of metal. Their music is also quite unpredictable which always makes listening to a band a whole lot more interesting.
Following Hate’s set, I found myself in the midst of an endless sea of Vader tees, the atmosphere was intense as the whole venue waited for the Polish extreme metallers to come on stage as I slowly but surely gravitated to the back of the venue. To put this quite simply: holy shit. Vader on Spotify? NOTHING compared to Vader right up in your face. A massive aural assault if I’ve ever felt one, my brain was rattling inside my head the whole time as they belted out stuff from their latest album Tibi Et Igni with tracks like ‘Abandon All Hope’, ‘Where Angels Weep’ and ‘Go To Hell’ tracks that prove the sheer relentlessness of this band and the power of their music. I lost my sanity when I heard ‘Decapitated Saints’ which was my introduction into Vader. The moshpit was in full force and for a venue that’s got a comparatively small pit area? It can get pretty wild in there. People were falling over each other, long hair inflicting faces with windmill wounds while the band continued to shred on stage. A personal favorite from the new album for me was definitely ‘Hexenkessel’ which has an orchestral intro before erupting into complete death metal madness. Vader bid the Underworld farewell unsurprisingly with John Williams “Imperial March’ from Star Wars as they rightly should. It was definitely a night dedicated to extreme metal and all three bands put on an electrifying performance and Vader proved once again why they are right at the top of the Polish metal scene.
Thanks Andy Turner & Claire Harris for the support m/
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