Vader // Vomitory // Skaphos // Aetherian // (40 Years Of The Apocalypse) // Live Review // Belfast & London

Celebrating their 40th year anniversary with a worldwide tour, Vader descended onto London for a very special event.

Bringing with them on this mega tour are Swedish legends Vomitory & as well as Skaphos & Aetherian.

Now it might be a Sunday evening but tonight’s landmark venue The Underworld is packed. Full of death metal fans foaming at the mouth for a night of brutality.

Opening tonight’s proceedings are French black metallers Skaphos. Now on first listening to their music online I was very intrigued. I felt like their recordings didn’t do the band justice. But as soon as they took the stage & blasted into the first track they took my breath away.

Now it’s rare when I see a support band, let alone the show’s opener hit so hard. Melding the sonic brutality of black metal with the pulverising barrage of death metal.  Vocalist & guitarist Stephan Petitjean’s vocal performance really sets the tone. Gut-wrenching lows with great soaring highs mix a great nice dynamic to the band’s overall sound.

Also, the band’s themes & overall image being set around the abyss, deep ocean & Lovecraft-like creatures really give the band a different take on the black metal sound.

If you like your blackened death metal cavernous & expansive give these guys a listen as they really pack a punch!

Now from Athens, Greece the mighty Aetherian. Bringing their own style of Melodic Death Metal to tonight’s event they are a great band that gets the attention of the crowd. Using the melodic elements of their music to create some epic parts in their set really elevates their sound.

Unfortunately sometimes this can make their sound a little formalic but luckily throughout their set they are able to add little elements that keep me engaged & looking forward to what comes next. Even with the little criticism I could give the band they put on a killer show & keep the crowd’s energy high & mighty!

Next up are the Swedish death metal kings Vomitory. A band ive waited along time to see & dam did they make it work the wait.

Opening with “All Heads Are Gonna Roll” off the newest album is a great way to wake anyone up who was slacking. As a unit these guys are one of the tightest bands I’ve seen in some time.

Quickly following it up with “Stray Bullet Kill” the band showcase their ability to add subtle groove to their tracks that stop it from being one dimensional. Where some Swedish death metal bands may lean heavily in the HM2 tone here Vomitory have a precise & punching guitar sound which sits nicely on top of Tobias Gustafsson’s non stop brutally drumming.

“Regorge in the Morgue” again showcases their talent for using groove to keep the tracks fun & interesting, A fast paced one but different dynamics keeps the track exciting. A highlight of the set!

Closing with “Chaos Fury” from the album “Blood Rapture” give the band the chance to blast just one more time. A track full of nonstop blasting & bone shattering riffs. A great way to close a fantastic relentless performance from these legends.

Now the time to celebrate Vader’s long forty year rain. As their intro begins & light show starts the military like precision Vader possesses is unlike any that i’ve seen before. As the band unleashes into “Decapitated Saints” the crowd are eating out of their hands.

As the band draws the track to a close vocalist Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek gives the audience a little history lesson as they go right into an early demo track “The Wrath”. Showing that even Vader in 1989 was writing classic death metal!

Tracks like “Dark Age” & “Silent Empire” just shows how impactful “The Ultimate Incantation” was. These tracks helped carve the polish death metal sound & threw the band into the master status they now hold.

The riff-filled “Epitaph” gives the band a nice way to “bring the groove” to their punishing live show. A slower track that is full of texture & ambience gives the crowd the or moment break but still keeps the flame under their arse. One of my favourite tracks of the night!

As the band draws the night to a close, “Triumph of Death” is left ringing in the crowd’s ears. Even with a legacy of forty years is not slowing down a bit. With a live production that is the most expensive I’ve seen from such an underground band & with such an epic tight live performance Vader shows just why they are the titans of Polish death metal!

A big thank you to the team @ Nuclear Blast for all their help setting up this review :))

Live Review: Joseph Mitchell ( @ The Underground London ) 

Photography: Mark McGrogan ( @ The Limelight Belfast ) 

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