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Overkill And Vader Lay Waste To The Bristol Fleece

It truly is wonderful that so many of the old guard of thrash metal are still going strong. Even better, it's especially wonderful that Overkill are still around, stronger than ever and representing the genre perhaps better than anyone else. This month, the band embarked on their most extensive tour of the United Kingdom yet, bringing along two stellar groups including one of Europe's most beloved death metal veterans, Vader and the multinational progressive thrash outfit, One Machine.

There was barely any time for the audience to digest what they were about to see, as due to a noise level curfew, One Machine were still finishing up their sound check, before launching into their set without warning, made ironic by the opening number, "Forewarning" from their new album, "The Final Cull." It's a solid opener from a band with enormous stage presence, led by vocalist Chris Hawkins, whose combination of David Lee Roth style theatrics, humour and vocal prowess makes for a classic example of a heavy metal frontman. One Machine has an extremely crushing live sound that makes the music sound much more immersive than in the studio and though their set was a short one, consisting only of five songs, they certainly made an impact, winning new fans and providing an exhilarating start to the evening.

It was definitely an interesting mix of audience in the Fleece on this night, with many Overkill fans in attendence curious to hear what Vader sound or perform like and plenty of the reverse too, with fans of both seeing the value for money they were getting. Value for money is exactly what Vader deliver, taking to the stage to a frenzied response from the crowd, who were treated to one of the best live bands in death metal. There was plenty on offer from their entire catalogue, including the excellent "Triumph of Death" from their latest album, "Tibi Et Igni," way back to "Dark Age" from their debut, "The Ultimate Incantation."

Like One Machine, Vader made brilliant use of the small space they had available to them and delivered one hell of a show, almost literally thanks to the demonic vocals of Piotr Wiwczarek and the stunning precision of all members of the band, most notable drummer James Stewart, who has proven to be a great addition since joining in 2011. Finishing up with "Helleluyah!!! (God Is Dead,)" Vader did what they've been doing for over thirty years, conquering every venue they set foot in and putting many of their death metal contemporaries to shame.

Vader are a very tough act for anyone to follow, but for one of the best live bands on the planet, not just in metal, it was a challenge they were more than up to. Opening with the future classic, "Armorist," Overkill practically exploded with an energy many of us would kill to have in any given situation, much less at work and proceded to hand out a sonic arse kicking to every single member of the audience. As expected, the band used their extensive library of thrash to thrill longtime fans as well as newcomers, performing more recent belters such as "Electric Rattlesnake" and "Skull and Bones," as well as plenty of classics such as "Rotten to the Core" and "Hello from the Gutter," the latter of which was rather poignant given a drain had gone off outside.

Bobby Blitz has long been known as one of the best frontmen in metal and he was on top form this evening, providing his trademark give no fucks attitude coupled with his equally witty banter, that continues to endear him and Overkill to fans of heavy music the world over. One again, every single member of the band performed perfectly, displaying the characteristics of the well oiled metal machine they have the rightful representation of being. Even more classics were brought out towards the end, including their eponymous number and "Elimination," before the group closed the curtain on their set with the cover of, "Fuck You" by The Subhumans, which has practically been made their own by now. The people of Bristol were treated to one hell of a show, with three fantastic bands all performing at the very top of their game and every single one of them will be hoping they meet with any of these groups again very soon.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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1 Comment on "Overkill And Vader Lay Waste To Bristol"

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1. I'm not Jesus Christ writes:

Overkill and Vader f***ing rule!

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