Vader + Defiled + Chronosphere
@ The Underworld
09 March 2020
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Miguel de Melo
A night celebrating the old school and the new of death and thrash metal was held tonight in Camden Town’s most famous venue, The Underworld.
It was the turn for Polish DM veterans, Vader, to celebrate some of their most famous albums: De Profundis and Litany.
Opening for the Poles in an already packed venue was a lively bunch of thrashers from Greece: Chronosphere. The only band I know of whose stage uniforms involve blood-red jeans – very reminiscent of the old days where the lines between punk rock and speed metal were very blurred.
There were absolutely no punches pulled by these Greeks either, for they opened audible fire on the crowd from the moment the first decibel rang out. Tune after tune blurted to the eardrums like a hail of arrows, all reminding this critic and the crowd of the old days of thrash.
Plenty of dark and war-themed imagery was conjured up by Chronosphere as they rasped and yelled about politics and social problems – the quintessential themes of thrash metal.
Having not paid much attention to the thrash circuit of the last few years, I for one was told it hadn’t mellowed in the slightest, especially in Europe from what Chronosphere were blasting. If you love the old school gallops of Motörhead and some of the blacker themes of Slayer, mashed together with some early Kreator riffs, then these boys from Athens are worth a watch.
It is always great to see an opening act who are enjoying themselves as much as the crowd and I applaud Chronosphere for that. Excellent job, boys.
Greece had had their turn, now for something from the far east.
Defiled, all the way from Tokyo, Japan took to the stage to showcase their battle-hardened skills that helped put their incredibly creative country on the DM map.
This was one very memorable discovery for me as I had never heard of Defiled before this gig, and having a personal love of Japanese culture, this band gave me even more reason to visit the country one day.
Defiled were vicious, anger-infused and gritty in their old school blasts. The crowd was now even bigger than for Chronosphere and the pits were getting more and more aggressive, a beautiful match to the bone-crunching growls the band were firing into the audience.
Blind rage at its most insane is how I’d describe Defiled’s repertoire and it exhibited how versatile a nation they come from as Japan has contributed to countless areas of art. Death metal is certainly one of those because of these guys from Tokyo.
All the crowd applauded and gave Defiled the cheers they deserved when their set came to an end, and I could tell the now packed Underworld was more than ready for the last band of the night.
All the way from the heart of Europe, the band who laid the cornerstone for the Polish extreme metal scene all the way back in the early 80s arrived.
Vader, one of the hardest working bands in all of Europe and whose influence can be heard in Behemoth and all other big names of the Polish scene.
Having been on the road for such a long time, Vader have built up a strong reputation around the world and that reputation as a wonderful band to watch was felt from the word go. All around me the entire crowd tore into a frenzy of angry mosh pits and general hysteria that only a death metal show can create.
There is something I have always found heartwarming about Polish metalheads too and that is how welcoming and supportive they are to their scene and I saw this tonight. Vocalist Piotr Wiwczarek thanked the crowd in his native tongue and was given the well-deserved applause from the diverse crowd.
Vader were celebrating 25 years of their second album: De Profundis, a classic of the European DM scene and it was from the precision of this performance that London knew these Poles were not going to mellow or even retire any time soon.
A fun night all round with all the anger, joviality and putridness that a good DM show can create.
Black to the Blind
Triumph of Death
Reborn in Flames
The One Made of Dreams
Banners on the Wind [tape]
What Colour is Your Blood?
Shock & Awe
Para Bellum [tape]
This is the War