Released: 2001, SPV
Vader have been putting out albums since 1990 with the album THE ULTIMATE INCARNATION, despite having formed in the mid-80’s. They were the first band from a (at the time) Communist country to sign to a western label. ARMAGEDDON – THE BEST OF provides a retrospective look at the Vader's back catalog up until their amazing album LITANY.
Since signing to Metal Blade records in 1999, the band has really become a household name for all death metal fans, finally making Vader one of the most respected European death metal bands the world over. As I listened to this the thing that first struck me is that there is not really a bad Vader release (the tracks from the live album THE DARKEST AGE – LIVE ’93 were not up to the high quality standards--but they are tolerable). Every song on here is great from their older material up to the new. A lot of bands do not show this kind of consistency. The liner notes for this album are also pretty cool as they reveal how hard Vader has worked over the years by dealing with basically long lasting inhospitable conditions while on tour to changing labels a number of times to the perseverance of their vision in a time when death metal was losing its popularity in the mid-90’s. Everything I’ve heard from Vader I love. I admit I don’t own every single Vader album...YET! They are one of the very few death metal bands that I like a lot. If you haven’t heard the band yet, this is an excellent starting point to check the band out with. If you like death metal, then it doesn’t get any better than Vader.
Stand out tracks on here are hard to pick out because they all are worth mentioning. The track “Reborn In Flames“ stood out with its intensity. It is from the DE PROFUNDIS album that is known to be a fan favorite, a "must have" death metal CD, and an important release in Vader’s catalog. The cover of Celtic Frosts “Dethroned Emperor”, taken from the Vader album FUTURE OF THE PAST of course was another stand out since I love a lot of Celtic Frost’s material! Another interesting cover they do on here is “Black Sabbath” (taken from the VADER LIVE IN JAPAN CD – this is not something I’d expect a death metal band to cover. Their take on this classic is done decently enough even though the vocals are not at all like Ozzy! The CD closes with the killer track “Wings” from LITANY. Some might complain that there is just one track from LITANY...but since I already have the full album I was more appreciative of the older material. Twenty tracks in all, this album should give any new listener a good idea on what Vader are about.
Vader have a new album out now on Metal Blade Records entitled REVELATIONS. Be sure to check out our review for that CD in the reviews database!! In the meantime drop by the official Vader website at http://www.vader.pl
(oddly not in English right now though).