Remembering Vitek of Decapitated

Today when I was driving to work, I stumbled across an old song from the Polish death metal band Decapitated, and the strangest thing happened to me, I just started tripping out on Vitek (Decapitated's original drummer, deceaced 2007), and just how sad it is what happened to those guys. For those who don't know much or anything about this band or the incident I am referring to, I'll tell the story here real quick.

Decapitated are, as I mentioned, a technical death metal band who are from Poland. They started playing together as a band in 1996, when the original four members where 12, 13, 15, and 16. By 1998 they had three self-released demos that were good enough to attract attention from Earache Records subsidary label Wicked World, to which the band signed and released their debut Winds Of Creation in 2000. Witold "Vitek" Kieltyka, the band's drummer, was the youngest of the group and was 15 by the time they recorded Winds. Jumping ahead a little bit, the band released their fourth record in 2006, Organic Hallucinosis, and were touring to support the album. On October 28, 2007, on route to Belarus from Russia, their tour bus was in an accident with a "large truck carrying a sizable load of wood," resulting in the death of Vitek a few days later on November 2. He was 23 years old when he passed away. Adrian "Covan" Kowanek, who replaced original vocalist Wojciech "Sauron" Wasowicz during the writing stages of Organic Hallucinosis, was also severly injured in the accident, and is still to this day in a coma. Unbelievably, through all the devestating loss, the band still carries on, though only with one original member left, Vitek's older brother Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka. Vogg has been cheif songwriter for Decapitated since the beginning, resulting in a consistant overall sound to the band throughout the line-up changes that have occured since 2005.

So anyway, the point I'm really getting at here is that Vitek was by far (by FAR) one of the best drummers in the world - regardless of genre. This kid was gifted in a way that completely dwarves the abilities of literally all other drummers. I just can't say enough about him as a drummer; he was such a heavy hitter and played so precisely and clean, and he came up with such intense beat patterns that are so far out of the box, everything the guy played just made we wish that I thought of it first, you know? There are a lot of really amazing drummers out there on the go today, but Vitek was a level ahead of everyone else. I often wonder how that band would have progressed had that accident never occured, if the Organic Hallucinosis line-up made it to Belarus that night and the rest of the tour went the way it was planned. It's such a tragedy, such a huge loss to the music community as a whole.

That's pretty much it I guess, it just sort of struck me out of the blue how sad it really is what happened to those guys. I wonder if Covan will ever wake up. Pretty much everything they've done as a band is amazing, but if I had to suggest a couple of songs as an example of how insanely great Vitek was at his craft, these would be them. The video for Day 69 is also interesting in this regard because Vitek is also the main "actor" in the video as well.

Day 69
Post Organic
Three Dimensional Defect
The Empty Throne
Babylon's Pride


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