Released: 2008, Metal Mind Productions
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
On October 29, 2007 along a cold, dark highway in Belarus, the heavy metal community lost one of its most talented musicians. Along with vocalist Adrian “Covan” Kowanek, Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka, drummer for the Polish death metal band Decapitated, was seriously injured when the band’s bus hit a logging truck. Four days later, 23-year old Vitek would succumb to his injuries in a Russian hospital leaving many to wonder how such a young, talented musician could be taken in a tragic manner. As Covan is reportedly healing and dealing with his grief along with the remaining members of Decapitated (including guitarist, Vogg, Vitek’s brother), a collection of early footage and a full gig from Krakow, Poland in 2002 is being released as an unofficial tribute to Vitek as HUMAN’S DUST, the band’s first DVD.
The main program of HUMAN’S DUST (the title taken from a song off Decapitated’s debut, WINDS OF CREATION) features a 40-minute set taken from Krakow, Poland in October 2002 while the band was on tour with Vader and Krisiun. At only eighteen years of age here (and sporting a full head of hair!), Vitek is already showing signs of greatness with amazingly technical drumming during the band’s short but powerful eight-song set. What hampers this performance is the horrendous way it is shot. Breakneck jump cuts and an annoying bobbing-and-weaving cameraman who zooms in and out constantly directly on Vitek is almost nauseating to watch during the first two songs, which really starts the viewer off on the wrong foot. Patience will be rewarded, though, as the remaining six songs (including a set-closing cover of Napalm Death’s “Suffer The Children”) are not plagued by this filming style. “Way To Salvation” is brutality at its finest while “Spheres of Madness” is a solid death march. Sauron’s bellows and roars are nothing special but are well-suited for the style, despite the vocalist’s painful lack of stage presence and hokey death metal persona. Vogg’s whammy-diving leads and blazing riffs appear flawless from every angle, though a second guitarist would have certainly beefed up the live sound (a problem rectified on the bonus footage performance from 2004’s Metalmania Festival). Overall, this short but sweet set from Poland’s young death metal warriors showcases talent that is far and above their years.
Another forty minutes of performance clips taken from two different shows in 2002 and 2004 and corresponding interviews (conducted in Polish with English subtitles) round out the package. The two-year spread between shows sees a marked improvement in the band (and a now-bald Sauron), even at that stage of their career. As for the interviews, they are short and the questions are quite generic but worth watching once anyway.
The future of Decapitated remains undecided as their drummer is dead and their vocalist is still on the long road to recovery. With only four albums under their belts and the music becoming more and more technical with each release, the band was just beginning to fully realize its potential but tragic circumstances have halted that progression, perhaps permanently. In the meantime, HUMAN’S DUST serves as a flawed but solid tribute to Vitek, one that his fans will surely embrace and hold close to their hearts.