Vader / Decapitated / Dew-Scented – Live In Vancouver: Nov. 16, 2005

Spread the metal:

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Richard’s On Richards
Vancouver, BC  Canada


**Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland

It was a rather low-key affair but with three Polish/German death metal bands on the bill, the Vader/Decapitated/Dew-Scented was never expected to be front page news here in Canada.  Still, this was a first-time visit for all three and the local death metal mavens supplied a pretty solid turnout for a Wednesday night.  Even a Polish television crew was on hand to document the Vader and Decapitated portion of the show, so there was definitely a buzz in the air.  Members from several local bands including Infernal Majesty, Blasphemy, Soulscar, Into Eternity and Antiquus were also on hand to enjoy the proceedings.  The general consensus from all three bands was that the last seven days spent crossing Canada was a memorable one and all stops were well-attended, so hopefully we will see them back again in the not-so-distant future.

Fortunately, I arrived at the venue early because Dew-Scented hit the stage ten minutes ahead of their scheduled 9:00PM set time.  Operating as a four-piece due to Marvin Vriesde’s ailing health, Hendrik Bache was forced to handle all the guitar duties and did so without anything noticeably absent from the live tracks.  Only about 100 people arrived to catch Dew-Scented’s Euro-thrash nastiness and when vocalist Leif Jensen called out for a “female-only” pit on “Never To Return,” not a single headbang-stress emerged to take part.  However, when Jensen asked for a “guys-only” pit for the following track, “Acts of Rage,” a few brave souls stepped up to the call of duty.  That track’s blazing thrash assault was certainly one of the set highlights along with killer versions of “Soul Poison” and “New Found Pain” from 2003’s IMPACT.  Despite being six albums into their career, Dew-Scented focused only on songs from IMPACT and their new release, ISSUE VI, which was a bit disappointing given the stupendous neck-wrecking potential of tracks from 1999’s ILL-NATURED and 2002’s INWARDS.  Still, with only 40 minutes and minus a member, Dew-Scented definitely let their presence be known and there were certainly a few die-hards there to give them a proper west coast welcome.      

New Found Pain
Turn To Ash
Cities of The Dead
Soul Poison
The Prison of Reason
Never To Return
Acts of Rage


After the beheading of an American journalist in the summer of 2004, Decapitated came under fire for their name and their North American tour with Cannibal Corpse in support of the punishing NEGATION CD was quickly and quietly cancelled.  Soon afterwards, vocalist Sauron called it quits and new growler Adrian Kowanek (AKA Covan) was called in to front the band and take on North American shores once the politically-correct dust had settled.  Covan bears an uncanny resemblance to Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher on stage, with his guttural growls, long, dark hair and camouflage pants and his “newbie” status within the band was confirmed by the presence of lyrics in front of him on stage.  The young band (still in their early twenties, despite being in the biz since 1996!) has ties to Vader since that band’s vocalist, Peter Wiwczarek, produced Decapitated’s debut album, WINDS OF CREATION, in 2000.  NEGATION and NIHILTY are both examples of brutality at its finest and next year’s ORGANIC HALLUCINOSIS is sure to continue on that tradition with a new, recharged line-up.  Fellow Metal Rules scribe, Pataklysm, was even more psyched about seeing Decapitated than I was and wasted no time in getting into the mix once the band unleashed “The Fury.”  Six-string bassist, Martin, and folliclely-challenged drummer Vitek (one of the most underrated skinsmen in metal, in my opinion) provide a crushing backbone to Decapitated’s live sound.  Brutal but tight, this rhythm section rattles your teeth.  Vitek’s blasting on “Winds of Creation” coupled with speedy yet technical riffing and a slow, burning groove on “Mother War” show both sides of this band.  The frenzied circle pit generated for the aptly named “Spheres of Madness” seemed to draw fans from out of the shadows and suddenly, there were about 250 people swarming the crowded floor.  In all the excitement, I missed what the second and third tracks were that Decapitated played but their 40-minute set left me heading for the safety of higher ground with the Polish television crew filming both Decapitated and Vader for an unknown video segment.  Killer band, amazingly talented and not even 25 years old yet…what the future may hold!

The Fury
Perfect Dehumanisation (The Answer?)
Lying and Weak
Spheres of Madness
Winds of Creation
Mother War

I thought Decapitated had me amply primed for the headliners but once Vader took the stage, the ground parted, demons roared and all Hell broke loose.  Vader’s criminally-short set should easily go down as one of the best acts I have seen this year and with over 40 shows covered for Metal Rules in 2005, that’s a bold statement!  With six full-length releases, as well as numerous E.P.’s (including the brand-new seven-track, THE ART OF WAR), I expected Vader to play for at least 75-90 minutes but the 55-minute set (with no encore) left many fans feeling a bittersweet mixture of euphoric delight and disappointment.  Richard’s On Richards provided stellar sound, though, and the chosen setlist was excellent.  Twelve years after the release of THE ULTIMATE INCANTATION, Vader is a finely-tuned heavy metal machine and the foursome played with uncustomary heaviness.  Peter hollered out “FUCKIN’ MAUSER!!!” as the guitarist slayed through the solo on “Out of The Deep” and the solos were fluidly exchanged back and forth between the two, while Novy’s pulverising basslines resonated through the rafters of the venue.  “Epitaph” was dedicated to local cult Black metallers, Blasphemy, while “Carnal” was sent out to former European touring mates, Infernal Majesty.  The pairing of “Out of The Deep” with “Dark Transmission” from last year’s THE BEAST was a one-two uppercut that was absolutely stunning live.  Going way, way, WAY back to 1995’s DE PROFUNDIS, crowd-favourites “Blood of Kingu” and “Sothis” got things moving in the pit (including Pataklysm getting treated like a rag doll!!) but I don’t think I was the only one disappointed that nothing was played from THE ULTIMATE INCANTATION.  LITANY’s “Wings” and “The One Made of Dreams” sound far better live without the skull-splitting drums of the studio versions, too.  The set closer, a cover of Slayer’s “Raining Blood,” was fast and vicious thanks to Daray’s blazing feet but the show seemed to end prematurely then, fans looking at each other and waiting for more.

This Is The War
The One Made of Dreams
Revelation of Black Moses
Silent Empire
Blood of Kingu
Out of The Deep
Dark Transmission
We Wait
Raining Blood (Slayer cover)

Various killer death metal packages have come through Vancouver this year including Suffocation/Cryptopsy, Hate Eternal/Krisiun and Deicide/Immolation/Skinless but pound for pound, dollar for dollar, Vader/Decapitated/Dew-Scented trumped them all.  Dew-Scented was short a guitarist, Decapitated is still breaking in an unknown vocalist and even with a ridiculously-short set, Vader managed to show up most other death metal bands I have seen.  With 2005 drawing to a close, all I can do is hibernate over the winter in wait for what 2006 brings to town.  Vader even said that they will be back in May, so can they possibly top this show??

***Thanks to Jamie at House of Blues Canada for the ticket and to Leigh at PHD Canada, Bryan at Earache Records and Loana at Nuclear Blast Records for photo approval.

Vader’s official site
Decapitated’s official site

Dew-Scented’s official site