Tuesday, 22 November 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Vader - "The Empire"


By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 04/11/2016
Label: Nuclear Blast


Death metal with a hefty dose of thrash sums up what Vader were and are about. This album has moments of steady rolling, thrash pacing and blast beats. Quite simply, this is an excellent Vader album.

“The Empire” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Angels of Steel (2:16)
2. Tempest (2:41)
3. Prayer to the God of War (2:47)
4. Iron Reign (4:37)
5. No Gravity (4:08)
6. Genocidius (2:59)
7. The Army-Geddon (4:10)
8. Feel My Pain (3:24)
9. Parabellum (2:28)
10. Send Me Back to Hell (3:32)

The Review:

Polish veterans Vader follow up the excellent “Tibi Et Igni” with this; “The Empire”. Death metal with a hefty dose of thrash sums up what Vader were and are about. This album has moments of steady rolling, thrash pacing and blast beats. Quite simply, this is an excellent Vader album. We all have our favourites, “De Profundis” or “Black to the Blind”... even the aforementioned last record they put out (mine, as it goes!). Rest assured, this album is up there with their best work.

The production is crystal clear and very precise. The drums in particular are superb; punchy and with a fine balance of high and low end. The vocal performance of Piotr throughout is excellent but to be fair, all band members are on top form here.

From the off, you know what you are getting. Stand outs? Well, opener “Angels of Steel” and “Iron Reign” really stand out for me, but you cannot argue with any of the ten tracks offered up to the gods of war here. I can see all of the tracks standing up well in the live arena (I saw them earlier this year with Overkill- they slayed). The songs are reassuringly concise- no fifteen minute epics here; you get short sharp shocks aplenty. Riffs, solos, leads... chugging passages. This is proper metal.

The album is strong from front to back with “Send Me Back to Hell” being every bit as immediate as the opener. Vader have created a very strong record here. If you like Vader, you will like this album. If you haven't heard them and are considering doing so, starting with this album and working backwards would be a fine move. If the later person is you, I envy you; I wish I was discovering this band again.

Vader have been in the game since the early eighties, they know how to deliver high quality metal and they do so by the (tank) shell full here. A tour de force of a modern death/thrash album. Buy it and then bang your head!

“The Empire” is available now

Band info: facebook

FFO: Morbid Angel, Slayer, Decapitated, Behemoth

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