Vader – The Empire

Vader
The Empire
Released 4th November 2016
Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

‘The Empire’ is the latest album by the Polish death metal titans Vader. The band has been around since the mid-1980s and they are one of the forefathers of the Polish extreme metal scene. This release follows the well renowned ‘Tigi et Igni’ album which was regarded as one of the band’s best works. As a long-time Vader fan I have high hopes for this opus.

Unlike its predecessor ‘Tigi et Igni’ which featured the odd atmospheric intro and more complex song structures, this album marks a return to good old, straightforward death metal with short but aggressive songs packed with pummeling drums and crushing guitar riffs. Oh, and let’s not forget Peter’s characteristic growls. It’s a vicious, brutal assault from start to finish. It’s like an army trying to break through a castle gate with each song marking another attempt to penetrate through the barrier. Eventually the defenses give in and the real battle begins.

Standout songs include: ‘Prayer to the God of War‘; a very guitar-driven track that owes more to old school thrash metal than death metal, the slightly slower-paced and predominantly death metal -style ‘Iron Reign‘ and the ferocious beast that is ‘No Gravity‘ which features some excellent drum work. Then there’s ‘The Army-Geddon‘ with its chugging, machine-gun like guitar riffs and shouts inviting everyone to join the Vader army. The brutal assault continues for the remainder of the album with chords flying at you like a hail of bullets and the artillery barrage of drums spurred to frenzy by Peter’s war cries.

In summary ‘The Empire’ is another case of Vader striking back (sorry, I just had to squeeze in at least one Star Wars analogy) and doing what they do best. Fans of the band will know what to expect from this album. The one thing that I value about this band is that they have always stayed true to their roots, never drifting too far away from the thrash-tinged death metal that they are synonymous with.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

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