Line-up changes have been a constant feature in the life of the Death Metal combo Vader since their inception back in 1983 but, as their relatively modest album collection clearly suggests, every new addition has been nothing other than beneficial to the music of the Polish outfit.
There have been two new members joining the band since the release of the highly acclaimed “Welcome To The Morbid Reich” (2011) and those of you who have been following the band’s career long enough will immediately recognise and appreciate how integral their personal input has been in making “Tibi Et Igni”, the band’s tenth studio release, one of the most impressive additions in the band’s musical arsenal.
Massive riffs, Slayer-influenced solos and bombastic drumming have informed the band’s music since day one but the quality of these ten new compositions is certainly of the highest standards.
I was particularly impressed by how well James Stewart’s rhythmically-intense, but intelligent, drumming complements and support Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek’s trademark vocals and the symbiosis which exists between the band’s long serving front man and Marek “Spider” Pająk – a guitarist of undeniable talent – is remarkable.
Delving more deeply into the material on offer: bombastic in tempo and featuring meaty simple-natured riffs of immense intensity, “Go To Hell” introduces the album in a flamboyant fashion, followed by the Deicide-influenced vocal themes of “Where Angels Weep” and the head banging tunes of the equally intense “Armada On Fire”.
It is almost ironic that the first song to make a massive impression on me was the mid-tempo “Triumph Of Death” but those of you who listen carefully to the song’s catchy riffs and highly contagious vocal harmonies will hopefully understand why.
Choral/orchestral background themes add much to the atmospheric value of “Hexenkessel”, while both follow up tunes “Abandon All Hope” / “Worms Of Eden” operate according to more simplistic yet energy-infused Death Metal formulae.
Saving the best til last, “The Eye Of The Abyss” is another short epic, featuring impressive orchestral arrangements and massive sounding riffs; “Light Reaper” successfully combines Slayer-sounding solos with slow groovy passages typical of the mighty Morbid Angel, while the head banging riffs in “The End” provide an inspiring contrast to Peter’s unusually clear narrative-style vocals.
Thirty one years in the music business is a long time – long enough to take the wind out of any band’s sails, but while this may be the case for many veterans of the extreme Metal scene, Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek is certainly not one of them!
Vader, anno 2014, are as urgent and exciting as they were when classics, such as “De Profundis” and “Litany” came to life. Still need convincing? “Tibi Et Igni” will do it for me!