A steaming EP release from Vidarr at the Hedon with their friends from Menschwalsch and Man as Plague.

Having been active for a number of years it was finally time to present Vidarr to the world with the release of their debut EP. Every reason to throw a party at the Hedon in Zwolle. And when you throw a party, you invite friends over. Ruben Baar was there to see the guys from Menschwalch, Man as Plague, and Vidarr celebrate.

Walking into the venue smoke is already pouring out of the door to the concert hall. This will be our portal to an evening full of stomping, heavy-hitting metal. The room gradually fills up with about a hundred people and we are off to the races.

Menschenwalsch

Menschwalsch, who funnily enough published their debut album through Vidar Records, no further relation, gets to open the stage with some dry introductions and proceeds to blast our socks off with a mean drum intro. What follows is 45 minutes of grindcore with apparently Dutch lyrics, but I don’t speak pig squeal and neither does anyone else, so that shouldn’t hamper your listening experience too much.
The instruments receive quite the beating and need to be tuned every two songs. A moment the vocalist consistently uses to joke around and make witty puns. His performance is characterized with little dances and miming, along with some exaggerated facial expressions.

During a track that supposedly had some German verses in it the guitarist’s strap breaks and he barely manages to fix it in time for a solo. The remainder of the song he has to kneel down to hold his instrument. A quick fix later we get to move on to their song ‘Botrot’ which suddenly has a groovy melody during the chorus. It sort of gets the crowd going, but most people keep clear from the stage for the entire evening.

Man as Plague

To the frustration of Man as Plague who get to follow up as second act of the evening. Their frontman is trying desperately to force some energy into the crowd to the point where he walks multiple rounds through the gathered onlookers. Unfortunately, most of the people here seem to be family and friends of Vidarr who aren’t used to spending their Saturday nights in a fogged-up tomb with a man screaming in their faces.

The band makes the best of it, playing their hardcore death metal as best they can. It is a completely different experience from how they sound on their albums. Where on the compact discs you can really hear the death metal with switching screams and growls, live it sounds more like hardcore with only one mode of vocals.

After taking a moment to wish their sound technician a happy fiftieth birthday they continue giving it their all. During their last song ‘Chronos’ the singer makes one last effort to get the crowd going and starts performing in front of the stage and pulling guys in to force a moshpit but when only one guy is eager to participate that quickly dies out. 

Vidarr

Which leaves only the men of the hour, Vidarr. I last saw these guys during 2023’s Metal Battle and I was impressed by this outfit. They got the whole room going and rightly won that first round. Now they are back to present their first album: “Tormented to Rot”. Well they call it an album, but it only has five tracks on it and doesn’t even clock in a thirty minutes. So it’s more like an EP, but we’re here for it none the less.
They start out with ‘The Raid’, one of their new tracks. A song about vikings coming to pillage a town. The Norseman and Pagans are a recurring theme for this band and this is a strong start. As a geyser of smoke blasts around the vocalist he screams out to the audience announcing their presence.


This gets followed up by ‘Hel Awaits’, an older track that’s been out for a while and isn’t featured on their new album. Which makes it still unavailable on physical formats. It does a have a discernible chorus though, so we can shout along with it.

Blood Eagle

Blood Eagle’ is up next, a dark song about being captured in battle and executed. This is definitely more in line with their black metal influences as this track has a more droning and melodramatic feel to it.
Followed by the longest song on the new EP, ‘Traitors’, which is about hunting down a group of traitorous men. But despite it’s length, it remains a consistent track witch does not let up throughout.
That leads us to ‘Fields of Decay’, about laying in wait in the woods to ambush your enemies. Which brings the energy up again. But no-one’s been within three feet of the stage yet, nor will that happen tonight.

Eternal Suffering

The last song of Tormented to Rot is ‘Eternal Suffering’ which is the darkest song on the new release. It’s about being tortured in hell, the fiery one. Not the cold Hel from Norse mythology strangely enough.
Vidarr isn’t done yet though, because they have yet another song to play that isn’t on their new album, nor was previously released. ‘Facing the Gallows’ is a brand new song that they’ve apparently worked on since recording this CD late last year. And it’s definitely in line with the rest of the songs this evening. It seems they’re favoring the black metal influences more than the hints of melodic death metal I got from them last year. But they remain a solid band that could do really well now that they have enough material to fill a 45 minute time slot.

These guys delivered some thumping, heavy songs and with this album out for the masses they’ve definitively announced their presence to the world. Let’s hope they can get some bookings, because I can certainly see them playing Stonehenge Festival or make for a good supporting act while they continue to develop their sound. Their new record is out now through DOC-Records by mail order, or go see them live yourselves. The full record will be on Spotify soon enough, sadly the band is experiencing some delay. In the meantime, you can listen to one of their older tracks!

You can find Vidarr on Facebook or in our database.

Menschenwalsch

Man As Plague

Vidarr

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