Many moons ago when I was yet a fledgling in the ways of metal I thought of you as nothing more than mediocre. But it is often when one starts their exploration of a particular genre of music that a number of bands contributions go misunderstood or unappreciated by the new listener. This was definitely the case for me with Vader.
How things change. A few days ago a good friend of mine recommended that I try out the Polish death metal outfits latest offering “Welcome To The Morbid Reich” and was pleasantly surprised with what I heard.
Before writing this review I decided to go back and re-listen to Vader’s previous work to give myself a bit of a reference point. A lot of groups no matter what genre they are part of tend to run out of steam sooner or later and you would expect because of the intensity of a musical genre such as death metal that musicians getting on in age would either start to tone down their sound or show that they were at least running out of steam. But here that is certainly not the case. Frontman Piotr Wiwczarek sounds like he has no intention of slowing down at the age of 46, and the rest of the band is no slouch either.
Short instrumental piece introduction tracks for death metal albums that careen into the first real song on their respective albums are not uncommon, and Vaders latest offering is no exception. Given such conventions the transitions from dramatic orchestration to pummeling blast beats are pulled off as gracefully as one would hope. The opening track is characterized by stop/start 16th note rushes is contrasted well by the chaotic but oddly melodic soloing presented as the song goes on. While every track is not a standout, a number of them deserve mention. “Decapitated Saints” is a particularly well crafted death/thrash number that doesn’t outstay its welcome with slower paced breakdowns or bridges, clocking in at a brief 2:41. “The Black Eye” on the other hand starts off with all out intensity and then has a bridge section with slow chugga chug riffing followed by a brief solo. If I had to name a favorite track however, it would have to be “Come and See My Sacrifice” a dynamically varied song ranging from speedy thrash, to slower paced midsections with lots of tasty and varied riffs.
Its hard to explain what it feels like to have zero expectations based on prior notions of a bands past material only to be subsequently blown away by their latest effort. But that describes how I felt after listening to “Welcome To The Morbid Reich”.
Even if you were hot and cold or just indifferent about Vader’s previous output, you may find a lot to like on the bands most recent outing. If you are new to the band and just want a good slab of straight forward death/thrash, Vader’s latest has your back, and is probably the best release in their catalogue.