Metalfest - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The second day of a festival tends to be a bit of a drag, mostly because everybody outdid their drinking and partying capacity on the first evening, and hence tend to walk around like zombies with bad hangovers on the second day. Add to this that the weather was grey, cold and windy, and you have a day with a serious need for an energy bar!

So what better way to force some energy down our throats than to open the ball (for us at least) with Poland’s deadly cousin to the Duracell bunny, Vader?
Well, I admit that was an odd likeness, but somehow Vader effortlessly seem to kick everyone’s collective ass every time they go on stage, at least that’s what they done the times I have seen this tank of murder and mayhem roll onto the stage in the past. But what about today, were they up for the task of waking up a stinky, gloomy Metalfest crowd, who if they combined their dark lines under their eyes could easily create a black hole of their own, which would if it could suck the small remainder of life out of all of us? We would see…

“Nice day for a sacrifice, right?!”
- Piotr ‘Peter’ Pawel Wiwczarek (guitar/vocals)

After an ominous intro had rolled out of the speakers, the band came on stage, and while all the rest of them were doing a good job at looking pissed off and aggressive, Peter merely smiled a smile which, had he not ears, would probably split his skull in two.
And why not? He had every reason to be happy!
You see, Vader went out there and proved that you don’t really need all sorts of stage gear and special outfits to impress people, and it doesn’t matter if it’s dark night or midday, a small club or a large open air festival, all you really need is nerve, energy and presence, and everything will work out just fine.
As an added bonus, even the sound was working out in Vader’s favour, and every instrument was easy to make out from the others as they mangled out their brutal death metal which even scared away the clouds eventually so that the sun showed its warming face for us.

As should be, there was an impressively large gathering of metalheads to take Vader’s show in, and as usual for this band, and contrary to much of what we had seen at the festival up to this point, there was a lot of action in the crowd.
The fans were competing with the band-members in high-speed headbanging, and there were quite a lot of crowd-surfers floating by throughout the show as well.
I tell you, when the Imperial March came on as the outro melody, I don’t believe there was one person in the crowd who wasn’t sweating from one thing or the other even with the less than warm weather!

It’s an interesting clash to see some of the most brutal death metal be delivered in such a positive and life-affirming way that Vader does it, and I think that this is one of the things that set them apart from so many others.
To be honest, if I were to take all feeling out of this and just look at the bare facts of what was done, Vader does more or less everything that I would deem as a mortal sin of performing; none of the members ever really move from their assigned spots, Peter doesn’t even headbang all that much, and yes he does address the audience from time to time (at this place he even mixed English with German) but not in a big way, and as I mentioned above, they don’t seem to give a flying fuck about how they are perceived up there on the stage. But I can’t take away the feeling, as this is as important an aspect of the show as any, and somehow Vader just manage to get under your skin, and even with all of their murderous and evil sounding lyrics, they just make you feel good and positive.
I still haven’t unravelled their secret, but maybe the whole point is that it isn’t necessary, maybe we just all need to let loose and enjoy ourselves. At least that’s what I’ll be doing the next time I get a chance to see Vader...

Setlist (incomplete):

Come And See My Sacrifice
Cold Demons
Decapitated Saints
Helleluyah!!! (God Is Dead)

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