Many death metal bands have been heard discussing a steadfast dedication to a music and lifestyle rarely accepted by those in the mainstream and that is afforded little support outside traditional media outlets. Few of those bands have been able to persevere long enough and truly starve for their art without having to throw in the towel at one point or another. Along with bands like CANNIBAL CORPSE, DEICIDE, and MORBID ANGEL, Poland's VADER has always walked it liked they talked, remaining rabidly loyal to its musical style and never forsook their diehard fans in order to appeal to a broader (read: mainstream) audience. Piotr Wiwczarek ("Peter") has been captaining the ship since the '80s and found a way to make a living from his art the old fashioned way: by making great albums and touring his ass off, weathering trends, label disruption, and member deaths along the way. It is the reason why a VADER show, such as the one in the Stodola Club in February 2007 captured on this DVD, is such an all-encompassing event. One can feel the blood, the sweat, and the tears that went into the creation of every earth shaking note played, which translates into an unforgettable performance.
As expected, Metal Mind has created a high-quality DVD in "And Blood Was Shed in Warsaw". I've never seen a sub-par VADER performance and this one in the homeland is no exception. Playing songs that span its career, including gems like "Helleluyah! (God is Dead)" and "ShadowFear" from the 2006 release "Impressions in Blood", this is a band that is as tight as it gets. The manner in which songs like "Epitaph", "Carnal", "Sothis", and "Black to the Blind" are delivered is absolutely ferocious. Peter's distinctive growl is unmatched and the songs are among death metal's best. Filmed with seven cameras (and in the process capturing the phenomenal light show) and boasting a great sound, "And Blood was Shed in Warsaw" is an excellent VADER DVD, no two ways about it. As a side note, a particularly metal moment occurs when Orion (VESANIA, BEHEMOTH) assumes lead vocalist for set closer "Wyrocznia". It will give you chills.
The bonus portion of the DVD is not exactly chocked full of material, but there is no real need for it either, as the performance is obviously the crucial piece. In addition to a great video for "Helleluyah! (God is Dead)" and an uncharacteristically melodic song called "Sword of the Witcher" (written by the band specifically for the computer game Wiedzmin), an interview segment with Peter (in Polish with English subtitles) is the most comprehensive one I've ever seen given by the frontman. He talks at length about the band's last years with Metal Blade, the relative style shift heard on "The Beast", the jump to Regain, the return to form that is "Impressions in Blood", and a moving conversation about deceased drummer Doc. The live set and the interview alone make "And Blood Was Shed in Warsaw" a mandatory purchase for any VADER fan.