Review By Mitch Charlton
Its been 5 years since Vader were last here with Kreator, Australia missed out on a tour through the plague times, and this tour was also postponed once, maybe twice, but we finally get to have them back on their 40th anniversary tour and they bring with them their Polish brethren, Hate and Thy Disease, what a line up! I have been waiting for an Australian Hate show since I was about 17, this is monumental. Tonight Vader show us why they are still around 40 years later, one of the old school greatss still showing everyone else how it should be played.
Starting off tonight with a low crowd count at the stage, people went straight to the merch desk, eager to get their hands on the goods, which didn’t last long, I ended up hearing about a few people missing out on sizes of tour shirts within the first 30 mins, but I guess this is what happens when you have a killer line up and a bands first time coming to Australia. The last few gigs I have been to, I have noticed that merch running out really quick is a common occurrence, which is great but I’m curious as to whether this is due to bands not anticipating the demand or whether it’s a cost to get it made in the first place, any readers, let me know your thoughts on this please.
Melbourne’s own Vexation put on one hell of an opening set, a young 3-piece Death Metal band who everyone should keep an eye on, these guys have skills years above them, they know how to write a wicked Death Metal track and perform it with incredible energy. With a full sounding 3-piece band, they ran through a solid set of groove headbanging riffs that were then coloured with astonishing shred solos and bass runs that had heads turning from all over the venue. Their energetic drummer is definitely one to watch, this guy was keeping machine like tightness while headbanging and throwing in amazing drum fills and beats. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, make sure you go and catch a show, you won’t be disappointed.
First off from the Poles is Thy Disease, this is their first time on our shores, and they show off a hard working ethic with a front man who, by the end of their set, had the crowd moving and headbanging. The crowd had grown to cover most of the venue by this stage and they had more heads moving with their brand of groove riffs and melodic solos. The only thing I was confused about was their mix, I could hear faint traces of backing synths but then there was minimal bass coming through, Vexation had a crystal-clear mix just before but, for them to have certain things missing was a bit odd. Thy Disease played a strong show and set the mood for the following bands tonight.
Hate, a band I have been listening to since I was about 17, someone who I never thought I would actually see play live in Australia are finally here. It is clear that I’m not the only one here tonight who has been waiting this long for them to come here. The crowd is thick with anticipation as the lights dim and their drummer comes out to start the intro with some rhythmic tom work that then kicked into Sovereign Sanctity. They run through a killer setlist that spans their career and get the crowd moving with the likes of Resurrection Machine, Rugia and Wolf Queen. The standout track for me was Threnody, the very first song that I ever heard of theirs, hearing this live was unreal! I hope they come back on the next album cycle, now that they know they have an Australian following.
It takes a lot of skill, determination, and grit to get a band touring and recording and Vader are here celebrating their 40th anniversary. They have toured the world multiple times and shown fans all over the world why they are one of the greatest and deserving of being here 40 years later. Vader sounds just as good live as they do on a record, their guitar tone and mix is phenomenal, everything is crisp and as it should be. Tonight’s setlist spans their 40-year career and starting off early on with tracks like Dark Age and Vicious Circle, then coming in with some newer ones Shock And Awe and Silent Empire. There is no slowing this band down, they are as hard hitting as ever and will probably still be around in the years to come! It’s impressive as hell to watch them play the way they do.
Death Metal is one hell of a genre, it has so many different takes but with bands like Vader leading the charge, modern and up and coming bands should be looking to these guys for the inspiration and the requirements to keep a band alive and strong after 40 years!