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Vader
The Beast
December 2004
Released: 2004, Relentless
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Year-end wrap-up: Each of the last few years to wrap up the year I have picked a theme for my reviews for December. This year due to the overwhelming number of CD’s that deserve exposure, recognition and commentary I am going to resort to quantity over quality. I usually try to give as much attention to each CD with extensive commentary however this month’s reviews (perhaps unfortunately) will be short and sweet and much more in the style of traditional magazine reviews where space restrictions are an important factor. (ie. Less detail) I apologize in advance to readers who expect much more detailed reviews. Please check the reviews archives as many of my colleagues have written excellent detailed commentary of many of these CD’s. I hope the large number of quick comments will help guide you making some of those important year-end CD purchase decisions. Happy Holidays and see you in January. JP



It’s amazing how a band with virtually no identity has survived for so long. If it wasn’t for the mystique of being one of the only successful metal bands from Eastern Europe they might not have made it. If they were from Cornhusk, Nebraska would we have the 14th release in 12 years by Vader? I think not. Regardless, survivors and pioneers all at once, the boys in Vader are back with another faceless slab of death. Struggling with a long and confusing discography, label trouble all these years you think they would learn, but, No. We get another weak album cover, dull lyrics, another really boring album title and uninspired booklet and standard production. They do deliver where it counts and they rip out vintage Vader, maybe even heavier and faster than the last couple. Reliable, dependable, likable competent, solid etc, etc, etc…but sometimes I just wish for something a little more than their standard issue death metal. Still well worth checking out.
Track Listing

1. Intro
2. Out Of The Deep
3. Dark Transmission
4. Firebringer
5. The Sea Came In At Last
6. I Shall Prevail
7. The Zone
8. Insomnia
9. Apophenic
10. Choices

Lineup

Peter-vocals, Guitar
Mauser-Guitar
Novy-Bass
Daray-Drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Vader - The Beast
Previous review: » Vader - The Art of War

Vader
The Beast
February 2005
Released: 2004, Metal Blade Records
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

Any Vader fan worthy of the title is going to want this. This is, in a nutshell, everything the band has been working toward achieving since their late-nineties stylistic breakthrough. This is considerably heavier than Black To The Blind, far more consistent than Litany, and better written than Revelations. It captures the vintage Vader sound, and builds on it—never reaching further than the fans will tolerate. Ultimately, any true fan of brutal, thrash-inspired death metal is going to find something here to like; and any “fan” that claims to hate it clearly fails to understand the band.

Peter’s demonic whiskey voice is in fine form here, sounding every bit as feral and vitriolic as the toughest Hardcore thug. He even gets a chance to display his oft-forsaken range on tracks like “The Sea Came In At Last”—sure to be controversial with a few. That song in particular is unique—it introduces a number of non-standard Vader moments, such as subtle Euro melodies and near-gothic atmospherics (ala Kreator’s Endorama). Clearly, the De Profundis crowd will be scratching their oily heads on this one. Perhaps the remainder of the album is sufficiently traditional, if not for their sake alone. (Like Motorhead, let it never be said that Vader is unaware of just how much “progression” their followers allow.)

The album begins subtly enough, with a remarkably restrained intro, before the balls-out thrusting of “Out Of The Deep,” which is classic Vader through and through. Upon closer examination, there is a renewed adoration of Slayer on this CD; nowhere is this more evident than in the opening riffs of track #2, “Dark Transmission,” which is likely to be a fan favorite on par with “Wings” and “Fractal Light.” The sheer momentum, amid the richness of the textures is nothing less than pure death metal delirium.

This is something of a rarity—it is a straightforward death metal CD that I would actually recommend to non-fans, as exemplary of the band’s ouvre, if not the subgenre itself.

There is no filler here. The songwriting is top-notch (this was somewhat of weak spot on Revelations). For every song that pushes the boundaries of the band (“Dark Transmission,” “The Sea Came In At Last,” etc.) there is another track that maintains the vintage Vader sound (“I Will Prevail” stand out—this easily could have been on Litany.) All in all, The Beast seeks to please both new fans and old, and is probably both the group’s most accessible and well-rounded fiendish release.
Track Listing

1. Intro
2. Out Of The Deep
3. Dark Transmission
4. Firebringer
5. The Sea Came In At Last
6. I Shall Prevail
7. The Zone
8. Insomnia
9. Apopheniac
10. Choices

Lineup

Piotr ``Peter`` Wiwczarek - Vocals, Guitar
Maurycy ``Mauser`` Stefanowicz - Guitar
Marcin ``Novy`` Nowak - Bass
Daray - Drums (session only—yes, Doc is still in the band!)


Next review: » Vader - Tibi Et Igni
Previous review: » Vader - The Art of War





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