Anticipation for an extreme metal show was high in the mostly conservative area known as Orange County, CA. Immediately after walking inside the venue, I noticed a strangely high proportion amount of teens and young metalheads in the crowd, with a majority of them wearing either WARBRINGER or MUNICIPAL WASTE shirts. LAZARUS A.D., who had recently stepped in for this tour, since the drummer of DECREPIT BIRTH had quit just a night before, had just ended their set.
Australia’s THE AMENTA got on stage and caught some interest to inquisitive minds with their industrial fused death/grind, which was certainly an interesting mix. Frontman Cain Cressal intrigued the crowd with his energy and stage diving. Ripping through a few of their more well known tracks, THE AMENTA impressed the crowd, but these fresh faces were eager for their neo-thrash heroes to come on.
As soon as WARBRINGER hit the stage, a flurry of hair, arms, and legs appeared in the pit, with the majority of the crowd enjoying the breakdowns and thrash riffings of the new-school thrash group. Unfortunately, this young crowd gives more praise to a band like WARBRINGER rather than the original legends, such as KREATOR, SODOM, and EXODUS, but nevertheless these thrashers got the high-top wearing crowd going with “Pray for Death.” Frontman John Kevill seemed real appreciative of the enthusiasm demonstrated by the kids.
Some of the crowd dispersed as the Polish war machine was ready to hit the stage, but many stayed, as this was probably their first time seeing a true underground metal band from outside the states. VADER opened with “Devilizer”, and the energy from this well-oiled machine was intense. Vogg’s precision playing and headbanging provided an excellent balance to Peter’s gruff vocals and shrieking solos. The songs were played about one-and-a-half to twice as fast, so all negative thoughts about “the new drummer of VADER” was put to rest. The band plowed through the set with fury, unleashing hell with “Sothis”, “Rise of the Undead”, and mandatory crowd favorites “Wings” and “Carnal”. The young crowd looked lost during the older tracks, such as “The Wrath”, and “Dark Age”, as the kids probably weren’t born yet when these songs were released. The band blasted through a few songs off Necropolis, to promote the new album, and after only about 35 minutes, VADER had to end their set short, due to the strict all ages venue guidelines. However, Peter announced that the band will be back in April with OVERKILL and destroyed the crowd by finishing them off with “This is the War” and “Lead Us!”
It’s a shame that this is Vogg’s last tour with VADER, but he will be where his heart is with DECAPITATED. VADER is and always will be pure 100% death metal, and this is why VADER is still one of the underrated, but top bands in the underground metal scene.