40th Anniversary show!

This ferocious band is in town to celebrate 40 years of metal, but did metalheads show up this time?

Making my way up the street and towards the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver and notice the lineup outside to this show was extremely short, maybe 50 people.  Ok, I thought, maybe because the doors were at 630?  I don’t get it.  Tonight, we have the 40th Anniversary of Vader with support from 3 solid bands with Bayonet Dismemberment (local band), Inhuman Condition (basically a death metal supergroup), Origin (extreme metal from Kansas) and headliners Vader who have been churning out excellent metal since 1983!  Where are you Vancouver, sure it’s a Tuesday, and yes there are plethora of shows coming in March and onward but really?   Tickets were cheap like 40$ so that’s like 10$ per band.   I know Invisible Orange did their best as always to support the show but only about 300-350 (I might be overstating that even) metalheads attended, the upper deck was closed and even many seats in the lower bowl were empty.  For some reason, the mighty Vader struggle here in Vancouver for a good crowd.   I know i complained about this last year but for a legendary band like this to come around all the way from Poland to celebrate 40 years of the Apocalypse, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

Peter on vocals

Vader make the most of it however and perform like they in front of thousands, as they start off with “Decapitated Saints”, from their premiere album, 1992’s The Ultimate Incantation album.  We also got 3 others from that landmark album such as “Chaos”, “Vicious Circle” and “Dark Age”.  You might wonder “Wait, how can it be 40 years if the first album is 1992?”, well the answer there is that they were together putting out demos since 1983 and got their first album contract with Earache records to create that first album.

Hardcore Metalheads

No lineup changes since we saw them last year as Peter Wiwczarek (founding member of this band since 1983 on lead guitar and vocals), along with Marek Pajak (guitar) , Tomasz Halicki (Bass) and Michal Andrzejczyk (Drums).

Michal Andrzejczyk

The onslaught continues with song 6 being Silent Empire and thereafter moving to Sothis to give us a taste of their album De Profundis (1995).  The playing is tight and Peter’s vocals are holding up great and this band is just as brutal as ever as we hear a couple from Black to the Blind with “Black to the Blind” and “Carnal”.

They have a standard stage setup with come cool lighting behind them and some fog, nothing crazy.   Sound mix is rather good at the Rickshaw too, as the hit a couple from Litany with “Cold Demons” and “Wings”.

Marek Pajak

As part of the 40 year anniversary they follow the discography from the early days and hit each of the 12 albums with a song or 2 each from the catalog.    Some other notables would be “Cold Demons”, the slower slugging of “Epitaph”, “Dark Transmission” and “This is War”.

You can really start to see the progression of this band as they charge through this 18 song set as the songs (even) better structured and accessible.  From their Thrashy beginnings to leaning to more Death Metal near the end with I think some of the best of Vader.  “Hellueluyah!!! (God is Dead)” and my personal favorite “Triumph of Death” from Tibi Et Igni (2014) are definite headslammers.   Thereafter those, they go one more with “Shock and Awe” from Solitude of Madness (2020).

Tomasz Halicki

If you are a Vader fan, this is truly a must see show that gives a wide retrospective with 18 songs in total.  How many more times will we see Vader in Vancouver?  Remember, prior to last year, it was a 13 year absence from Vancouver, so we are pretty lucky to have this tour swing into town.   Lead singer Peter is around 58 years old; will we hear “Vicious Circle” live again?   They seem to have a lot in the tank left after seeing this performance tonight.  The band is absolutely devastating to listen to and appear to be still a force to be reckoned with after 40 years. We all left listening to the “Imperial March” from Star Wars, would this be the last time?  I hope not.

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