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TESTAMENT + ANNIHILATOR + VADER @ QMU, Glasgow, 2 Apr 2018
By Wojtek Gabriel, posted 2 Oct 2018
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Testament Bay Area thrash metal live 2018
I suppose a lot of the UK fans got high when they first saw the poster announcing that Testament, Annihilator and Vader were teaming-up to invade these shores. Well, it's not every day that you get as strong old-school line-up as this. All three bands have recently added well-received new albums to their discographies and they all have huge back-catalogues of classics under their belts, obviously, so the hordes that decided to catch them on this tour were in for an unforgettable evening with good old thrash (and death) metal music.
The gate opening was delayed by 40 minutes so, when Vader hit the stage many fans were still waiting in the queue outside. The Polish death metal legends kicked their set off with "Chaos", a fast number from their '92 debut album and played a couple more songs from that release ("Dark Age", "The Crucified Ones"), celebrating its 25th Anniversary. The sound wasn't particularly good, with Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek's guitar solos completely lost in the mix and the other axeman Marek "Spider" Pajak's guitar being far too loud. The crowd didn't seem too enthusiastic, which prompted Peter to ask, "The silence is suffocating, is this Scotland?", but the band still worked their assess off, moshing crazily, with Peter growling the lyrics as only he can. We could hear just one song from the latest studio album, the slow and heavy "Send Me Back to Hell" and the band finished off with the ultra-fast "Cold Demons", which Peter announced as a song "about a place where demons dwell". The set was short but very intense and it's really a shame the crowd wasn't more responsive.
The situation changed quickly when the Canadian foursome Annihilator took to the stage. The majority of the attendees must have been old school thrashers as they knew the material well, "helping" Jeff Waters from the very beginning. The guys didn't waste time for banter, with just one longer "comedy act" by Waters, about the band's name and its numerous versions they've heard over the years (including Anal Eater). They simply ripped through the eight tunes at full speed, bludgeoning the packed venue with a wall of riffs. The classic stomper "King of the Kill" worked out perfectly as an opener and then the band let us hear a couple of new tunes such as "One to Kill" and "Twisted Lobotomy" with the remainder being mostly well-known classics that always have a spot on even the shortest setlists, to mention "Set the World on Fire", "W.T.Y.D." or "Alison Hell". The show was energetic and dynamic, with Jeff and the bass player Rich Hinks striding across the stage, but I thought Mr Waters should maybe find a proper frontman, as he's definitely not the best live vocalist Annihilator ever had (sorry for honesty Jeff). Still, the closing old-school number "Phantasmagoria" was received with as great enthusiasm as the rest of the set and fans seemed to be quite ready for the main dish of the evening. Let's hope the guys will soon come back to this corner of the world to play some headlining dates.
Annihilator thrash metal live 2018
After a short break the lights went on, illuminating the backdrop with the latest album cover art on it and two demons from "The Legacy" cover sitting on both sides of the stage. The Testament guys chose to play a pretty nice mix of the old and the new material, kicking off their show with more recent stuff ? the title track "Brotherhood of the Snake" and "The Pale King", both from the new release and two of the best tunes, "Rise Up" and "More Than Meets the Eye" (with its catchy "ooooo-ooooohhhh" part) from the previous two albums - "Dark Roots of Earth" and "The Formation of Damnation", respectively. I may be mistaken, but I think the only album not present on the setlist was "Demonic". The band sounded quite powerful from the very beginning, much clearer than the two previous acts, so fans could really savour the sweet sounds produced by this thrash metal machine. As the show progressed we could listen to some cult classics, such as the more commercial "Electric Crown" and the two early up-tempo numbers "Into the Pit" and "First Strike Is Deadly", where the moshpit clearly intensified, with some breaks in between where all guys could show off their amazing skills. To be honest so many not so short solos (by both guitarists - Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, the bass player Steve DiGiorgio and the drummer Gene Hoglan) were slowing down the pace, but Chuck could at least take a breather and get ready for belting out another couple of tunes. Two title songs "Souls of Black" and "The New Order" were a truly murderous finish with another title number "Practice What You Preach" plus one of the fans favourites "Over The Wall" serving as encores. Yes, the band could have played two more tunes instead of the lengthy solos, but apart from that, I doubt anyone had any complaints after this killer set by this superstar line-up.
I believe the Glasgow show was sold-out and I'm not surprised. The bill was great, all three bands are world-class acts, a lot of fans would turn up even if any of them played just headlining gigs with some unknown supports, so a show like this was a not-to-miss occasion. Testament, Annihilator and Vader all showed their best qualities and proved that old-school metal is still going strong with the original as well as the new fans enjoying events like this one.
Text and photos by Wojtek Gabriel

Official Testament website: www.testamentlegions.com
Testament on facebook: facebook.com/testamentlegions
Official Annihilator website: www.annihilatormetal.com
Annihilator on facebook: facebook.com/annihilatorband
Official Vader website: www.vader.pl
Vader on facebook: facebook.com/vader
Tags: Testament, Annihilator, Vader, concert, gig, Glasgow
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© 2007-2018 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved. Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations or corporations without the prior written permission.
© 2007-2018 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved.
Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations
or corporations without the prior written permission.