Released: 2009, Nuclear Blast
This is another classic Vader album from the Polish death-thrashers, one to treasure and revisit again and again in years to come. NECROPOLIS stands proudly shoulder to shoulder with other Vader classics like LITANY, DE PROFUNDIS and BLACK TO THE BLIND, and is definitely one of the death metal albums of the year.
Crushing, relentless, remorseless – these are Vader trademarks. The songs are short, furious, no-nonsense, no-bullshit. The riffs pound in unison with the drums of war, the tremolo-raped solos scream and howl, Piotr’s vocals are as mean, as menacing and as dangerous as before. The hallmarks are all there.
Vader has had a turbulent couple of years, and sometime last year underwent a major line-up change, with only Piotr the remaining original member. Make no mistake about it though, this is Piotr’s baby and he’s damned if he’s going to let it fade away into metal obscurity. Pulling Vogg Kieltyka (Vitek’s brother) from on-hiatus Decapitated was a great move, Kieltyka fitting in to the Vader way of doing things seamlessly and without trouble. As a result the band sounds fresh and heavy, while still maintaining the well-loved Vader sound. Because, and get this clear in your mind, Vader is an institution that you don’t fuck around with.
Getting back to the music, there are lots of hits with a couple of misses. I anticipate that ‘Devilizer’ (the opening track) and ‘Rise of the Undead’ will definitely be live favourites in the years to come, the latter having a distinctly sing-along quality to the chorus. ‘Dark Heart’ is so damn thrash-tastically catchy that you may find yourself starting a circle pit in Central Station or London King’s Cross on your way to work. ‘Impure’ is like a brief summary of everything that Vader is about – the catchy galloping riff, the infectious rhythmic groove, ultra-heavy drumming, shred-and-whammied solos…you name it, it’s in there. ‘When The Sun Drowns in Dark’ is the slightly more ambitious offering on NECROPOLIS, at 4 and a half minutes long, it’s also the longest song. The band slows things down to focus on downbeat groove, throwing in some very slight touches of ambience. Don’t get me wrong though, it still kicks copious amounts of ass.
The brief flirtations and dalliances with anything other than the headbangable on NECROPOLIS are what brings it down in my opinion. The two “useless” tracks on the album are ‘The Seal’ – which has Piotr repeatedly intoning something like “ZOO! ZOO!” over something vaguely Nile-sounding – and ‘Summoning the Futura’, which is just “I conjure thee! I summon thee!” Completely pointless, I find.
Vader are back – or were they actually gone? Anyway, get NECROPOLIS. Now!