I’ve often wondered what motivates a band with the pedigree of Vader. What more could a death metal band so decorated accomplish? The group has been around since 1983. They are undoubtedly one of the greatests metal acts to come out of Poland and have infected the world with classics like De Profundis (1995), Litany (2000) and Impressions in Blood (2006), albums which have become yardsticks for aspiring death metal acts but Vader has accomplished even more, smashing the relevancy of these great albums by releasing ones even greater! Welcome to the Morbid Reich (2011) and Tibi et Igni (2014) are now considered pinnacle achievements of the group.
So where does a band that has seemingly done it all go now? In 2015, Vader released Future of the Past II, a ‘covers’ album and follow up to 1996’s Future of the Past. I kind of looked at this release as the beginning of the end for Vader. I felt they had reached their creative peak and probably didn’t have much left in the tank, I was wrong.
After releasing a four track EP this past August entitled Iron Times, featuring a wicked cover of Motörhead’s “Overkill”. Vader then did the unexpected by unveiling their twelfth studio effort, The Empire this past November.
Vader has hit a new stride with The Empire, finding a catchy death metal groove and riding that wave into a vile morbidity. I’ll admit it took me longer than usual to cozy up to this release. The stripped down groovy style didn’t appeal to me at first but as soon as I fell in love with the track, “Prayer to the God of War”, I was hooked. Other highlight tracks for me are: “Iron Reign”, “No Gravity”, “Feel My Pain” and “Send Me Back to Hell”.
Vader have proven yet again why they are held high in the hierarchy of death metal elite. Quality and perseverance are the traits that have kept this group relevant for decades, check out this surprising release! \m/
01. “Angels of Steel”
03. “Prayer to the God of War” (album version)
04. “Iron Reign”
05. “No Gravity”
07. “The Army-Geddon”
08. “Feel My Pain”
09. “Parabellum” (album version)
10. “Send Me Back to Hell”
Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek – Vocals, Guitars
James Stewart – Drums
Marek “Spider” Pająk – Guitars
Tomasz “Hal” Halicki – Bass