REVIEW – Vader/Immolation/Monument of Misanthropy Voodoo lounge, Dublin Ireland April 12th 2017

Posted on by Oran

On a normal Wednesday evening, the halfway point of the working week has been reached and put behind us. The long weekend approaches fast, and plans are already in place on how to spend it. Overdrive sent Shaun Martin to have a gander at Polish death metal juggernauts Vader, as they pair up with long-time war buddies Immolation, at Dublin’s Voodoo Lounge, with the aim of doing serious damage. Ears are still ringing……

Vader Dublin 2017

All the way from France, Monuments of Misanthropy strike the first axe wound into the carapace of the Voodoo Lounge audiences with what can only be described as wanton inhuman malevolence. Their second song ‘Malformation‘ has a drum line that hits so hard and fast, it puts an AK47 (on full automatic fire) to shame. Their bassist (known only as Sam), is as technical as tech can get, because ‘At Death’s Door‘ features a heavy double handed tapping method that I’ve never seen in a small club like the Voodoo before.

Photo - Official Monuments of Misanthropy Facebook © 2017

Photo – Official Monuments of Misanthropy Facebook © 2017

Their intro to song 4 is macabre (putting it lightly), as the sounds of a woman being attacked by a chainsaw is quite visually evocative.  Vocalist George “Misanthrope” Wilfinger has the skills and vocal ability to get in the ring with some of the best in the game and hold his own Their final hurrah is from their debut EP “Anger Mismanagement”, with their opening tracks ‘Entering a New State’ and they give it their all. The bass drums are mic’d up way too high during this though, and the guitar is barely audible over the tympanic thrashing that we get from the drums, vocals, and bass. That’s the only flaw. Otherwise, this was a remarkable start to a grisly night ahead. 3.5/5

At the stroke of 8.30 PM, Immolation (from Yonkers, New York City) follow MoM’s excellent form with another cleaving swipe of a gig! Lead guitarist Robert Vigna is robotic in his jerky movement that is positively maniacal. Bassist/singer Ross Dolan is genuinely happy to be doing what he does and thanks everyone for coming out on a school night. The newest record ‘Atonement‘ is in hot demand tonight, as their first single from that album ‘Destructive Current‘ starts the windmills in the crowd. Rhythm guitar Alex Bouks intros the next tune ‘Swarm’ pinch-harmonically, and the pit gets moving at seriously heavy pace. ‘Fostering the Divide‘, another new song gets an outing… and as I watch the crowd, I see almost every head nodding vigorously in unison as if someone has left a window open and a strong wind is attacking everyone rhythmically from the shoulders up!

Immolation Photo - Official Facebook © 2017

Photo – Official Facebook © 2017

We go back to the first album “Dawn of Possession”, which every diehard immolation fan is familiar with ‘Immolation’. Bassist gives another shout out to Monuments of Misanthropy and Vader, acknowledging a 30-year friendship before launching into another new one ‘When the Jackals Come‘. ‘A Spectacle of Lies (written about today’s media) precedes the final closing call ‘Epiphany’. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to play their entire planned setlist, as due to technical issues before their set started, their time on stage was cut short. Immolation returns to Europe in September this year with a new tour and hopes to hit Ireland again. Bidding us goodnight, Immolation leaves us, before allowing Polish death metal godfathers Vader to deal the killing blow. 4/5

Photo - © Vader 2017

Photo – © Vader 2017

The venue is suddenly plunged into darkness.  “Vader! Vader! Vader!” as the lighting grows slowly, we see the silhouettes of long-time Polish thrash titans Vader emerge from the stage. Frontman Piotr Wiwczarek, the driving force of Vader’s 30+ year career, makes it obvious that they are glad to be back (mostly because they keep saying it) and after the initial purge of enforced mayhem, Vader cruise into their groove and belt out skull crusher after skull crusher, kicked off with their first single from the latest album ‘The Empire’, called ‘Angels of Steel’. Pit action starts to get messy, as Vader states it is 25 years since their first record, and tonight will feature a heavy setlist from their brutal debut album ‘The Ultimate Incantation’. There are shouts to their Polish

There are shouts to their Polish brethren in the audience tonight (of which there are many), including many Polish-spoken jokes (that I don’t get, naturally enough). It’s impossible to keep up with the pace of headbanging because the beats are at breakneck speed. All in all, the talk is kept to a minimum. But the music does most of the talking for them.

As the set list progresses, the action up at the stage gets more intense. Circle pits, walls of death, and crowd surfing are all rapidly becoming the most preferred way to spend this evening. Busting out ‘The Ultimate Incantation‘, ‘Dark Age’, ‘The Crucified Ones’, ‘Testimony’, and ‘Reign-Carrion’ spew nothing but carnage as bodies fly in every direction. The band live up to their legend, as there are no beats missed, the guitar leads between axemen Marek Pajak and singer Wiwczarek are flawless. Put simply, when you watch the gestures between bandmates and their respective instruments, there is full disclosure as to why these guys are the godfathers of thrash metal, alongside Kreator and Slayer. The pace doesn’t let up for a moment, and before we know it, the show is over.

© Vader 2017

© Vader 2017

But Vader hasn’t finished with us just yet. True, they’ve dealt a killing blow to the audience, but then they go for total fucking decapitation. Out of nowhere, Slayer’s anthemic ‘Raining Blood’ is brought down on our neck, severing the ties of all things calm. The Voodoo Lounge is turned into a battlefield, with casualties lying left, right. And centre. Patrons rush to help, only for themselves to be turned into cannon fodder. It is a monumental sight and those who can’t take the beating take cover. This ends she show, and the weary and fractured fans applaud their heroes, who bow graciously, tossing their guitar pics and sticks into grasping hands. With ears buzzing, we leave and try to go to sleep with that incessant ringing expected to last quite a while. 4.5/5

Photo by Monika Wawrzyniak © 2017

Photo by Monika Wawrzyniak © 2017

Shaun Martin

© 2017