European Chaos Tour: Vader, Entombed AD, The Drowning, Hellavista, The Globe, Cardiff
[Paul H] The European Chaos Tour, a beefy co-headline tour celebrating 35 years of death metal from behemoths Vader and Entombed AD rolled into Cardiff on a cold night. With this only one of four UK dates which included a slot at the excellent Damnation Festival the following evening, this was a rare opportunity to see two of the real titans of the scene up close and personal. Whilst the first of this season’s fireworks started outside, the real fires were burning inside the Cardiff venue with a four-band bill providing stunning value for money.
With a busy schedule to work through, opening band Hellavista (6) hit the stage early to a sparse audience. However, the Austrians certainly didn’t let that bother them and thrashed their way through 30 minutes in rapid style. Hellavista’s sound includes a mixture of Megadeth, Pantera and Lamb Of god and you couldn’t fault their effort. Vocalist D. Harry’s genuine enthusiasm and gratitude towards those of us who had arrived early was heart-warming. His vocal style wasn’t quite Randy Blythe but his delivery and mannerisms on stage certainly was a nod in the direction of the Richmond vocalist. A selection of tracks from their debut release Robolution impressed, with Screwdriver Away and Hellevator probably the pick. The band certainly didn’t lack effort and made for a solid start to the evening.
[Sean] After a few minutes of quick change over, Cardiff’s own The Drowning (8) take to the stage all clad in midnight black. The Globe swells in attendance as the doomy death dealers change the evening’s pace to a harrowing funeral dirge, the atmosphere equal parts crushing and bittersweet. The hulking figure of Matt Small bellows in anguished loss, his bandmates playing with equal conviction amid the melodic misery seeping forth from the stage. Having just signed to Transcending Obscurity, they debut The Harrowed Path, offering a tantalising glimpse of great things to come. The crowd lap it up, fully immersed in the quintets brand of muscular melancholy. Good stuff.
With this evening rapidly growing in strength, I position myself squarely at the front with anticipation set to nearly uncontainable levels. One by one, Entombed AD (10) take to the stage and all hell is unleashed. Opening with Midas In Reverse, the heaving crowd immediately erupts into frenzied spasms of head banging, arm flailing and all around fucking violence. Truly, witnessing L.G Petrov and his obscene orchestra is a thing to behold. The Swedes bring out classic after classic, the newer cuts material seamlessly fitting in to the brutality of old. Sanger Aeons gives way to Second To None and I’ve been hit at east 3 times in the face but I don’t give a fuck at this point, I’m watching fucking Entombed A.D! New song Fit For A King sounds like it was pulled kicking and screaming from the classic era, going down to rapturous applause. Revel In Flesh, Wolverine Blues, LEFT HAND FUCKING PATH and Supposed To Rot bring the onslaught to a close. What a night, what a fucking set and Entombed A.D put any and all doubters 6 feet under. With grins of sheer glee plastered on their faces, Entombed A.D are triumphant at The Globe. Tonight, the Swedish saw is the fucking law.
[Paul H] Following such a blistering set from Entombed AD was an almost impossible task and it was noticeable that the audience had thinned substantially when Polish legends Vader (8) took to the stage. Using maximum lighting effects, which swathed the band in red and green light, Piotr Wiwczarek, Tomas ‘Hal’ Halicki and Marek ‘Spider’ Pajak emerged as atmospheric silhouettes to a huge roar from those that remained. The next 60 minutes flew by, as Vader bludgeoned their way through tracks from ten of their albums in rapid and traditionally bulldozing style. Surprisingly, they were slightly less fluid that Entombed AD and there were a couple of pauses which allowed those in one of the most bizarre pits time to catch their breath. Wiwczarek, just like L.G Petrov earlier in the evening, evidently loves what he does, and between songs he was gracious in his thanks for the support. Unsurprisingly, the set was heavy on early classics, with Vicious Circle and Testimony from The Ultimate Incantation, Sothis from De Profundis and Black To The Blind, Fractured Light and Carnal from Black To The Blind making up the first half of the set.
The pit was dominated by several fuelled up Polish fans, whose exuberance far outshone the local support, with one particularly enthusiastic fan making repeated climbs on the PA stack and another mountain of a man lurching around in a drunken stupor, hitting the deck several times and at one stage being carried out by a couple of other fans only to reappear ten minutes later to continue in exactly the same vein! Hopefully Brexit will put a stop to this type of excitement. We are British you know. Down with that sort of thing! (JOKE - Ed) Watching with some amusement at the antics before them, Vader continued the onslaught with tracks from Necropolis, Litany and finally a couple of their more recent albums. The guitar work of Wiwczarek and Pajak cutting through a decent mix whilst the powerhouse James Stewart hammered the blast beats from behind the kit. A scorching Prayer To The God Of War from The Empire and a crushing Triumph Of Death from 2014’s Tibi Et Igni brought the set to an end before the inevitable Helleluyah!!! God Is Dead brought a fine evening to an explosive conclusion.