Vader / Hate @ Glasgow Audio
The Blitz Tour 2015, 19th March 2015
Photography & Review Ritchie Birnie
It is a dark and ominous night in Glasgow. The clocks have not changed yet, and it’s a creepy, cold night as the Blitz tour hits these neck of the woods. The Polish assault comes kicking and screaming at you in full force. All senses are attacked, all bones shaken, heads battered and bodies bruised.
First up are Shredhead (3.5/5). A Death Metal band from Israel with a point to prove. It was never going to be easy to kick off an evening with Hate and Vader to come. You know who the crowd are here to see and filling in time before they hit the stage was going to be a tough call. Luckily the way the hall is designed there is nowhere to go. All amenities are on the one floor so you are going to have to watch/listen to them.
They kicked off at blistering pace with vocalist Aharon Ragoza adopting the centuries old Scottish tradition of “Taps Aff”. A quick translation is “my, I think it may be a degree warmer than freezing today, I think I will go topless.” Please note, before all males rush to Scotland on the next train, this is a male phenomenon only.
The band worked hard and after a few songs really got the crowd going. The band were tight with some excellent fretwork and I would definitely get to the show early to check them out.
Now for the first reason we are here. Hate (4/5) have been on the go now since 1990, yes that long. In that time they have helped forge Death Metal along with Vader. I suppose the pain and dark history of their homeland lend well to the genre and the inventiveness of these band.
The music is frantic, fast, grinding and wrapped up in a pulverising rhythm section. They are definitely a visual band as anyone who has seen them can confirm. They blast through a solid set taken from all of their albums. The new one “Crusade Zero” is well represented and you can see why they have been getting rave reviews.
The packed to the rafters crowd reveled in the bands dark, broody and pessimistic slant on life. Scarily their portrayal is becoming more and more like everyday life with the Doomsday Clock being moved forward recently but tonight no one cares. The band played a scorching set and this three piece wiped the floor with us mere mortals. We still have one band to go and the sweat is dripping down the walls and the roof is still shaking from Hate’s onslaught.
After Hate, we get time to breathe, time to get some fresh air, beer, and ready ourselves for what turns out to be a total master class in putting on a show. Vader (4.5/5) left nothing on that small stage tonight. From the opening of ” Abandon all Hope” to “Necropolis” we witnessed a band in total control and using every piece of stage knowledge learned since 1989.
For all the doom and gloom the atmosphere is electric. The crowd knows all too well that this band is a master at its craft. Vader rely on touring for the bucks and they have some very die hard fans as can be seen by they amount of visits to the merch stand tonight. They sell everything from books to cassettes and the fans lap it up. The place is crowded with Vader shirts and Polish accents. They obviously have a massive following from the homeland and there are lots of happy people here tonight. It must seem like a home from home.
The set blasts past with all the classics being played, the heads being banged and the craziness going unchecked. This is a band at the pinnacle of their career. Completely professional and the crowd are hanging on very word Peter says. The intensity is just crazy. I have no idea how they, or us will make it to the end of the set.
As early as “Silent Empire” the steam is coming from the crowd, all jackets and jumpers are discarded in piles and the full to bursting venue is just bouncing. It is a good thing this venue is situated under Glasgow Central Train Station as the noise would be deafening outside.
“Sothis” keeps up the pressure with the pummeling drums and vicious guitars. “Reborn In Flames” is next to assault every sense. The light show kicks in big time here( good work at the back). I also get a chance to take in the stage show, which is as “Death Metal” as it comes. The upside down cross, Mic stand is a brilliant piece of art at the alter of all that is Vader.
I make my way from the front as “Decapitated Saints” bursts from the PA. I need to hydrate (well beerate to be precise). It’s at this point I feel the sweaty bodies and the sheer build up of heat. This is not a big hall but it has brilliant acoustics and a great view from wherever you are. So as I am awaiting said beer I check out the crowd in full flow. Circle pits the norm for the whole set but everyone is smiling from ear to ear. There is something completely different about a Death Metal show. Its like a brothers in arms vibe. There will always be a sense of being lost on the wrong side of town terror but when you look around you know you could ask any one of these people for help and they would be by your side.
The rest of the set sees me flit from back to front, side to side and back again. The mayhem at the front cannot be beaten but with a band this good you sometimes need to just sit back and view the show in all its glory. It was also the best place to be to see the encore of “Necropolis”. Jeez that hall turned into one swarming beast of humanity. All melded together, side by side in awe at the alter of the grand masters. Vader you absolutely nailed it tonight. Glasgow thanks you for being able to be a part of your dark, doom laden, anarchistic nightmare.