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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Vader

Tibi et Igni

Review by Mike Korn

In Poland, Vader is the metal band. They started their career when Lech Walesa was just beginning to raise hell in the Gdansk shipyards and when rock music was still considered decadent Western propaganda. They have kept the course through decades and massive changes in political and social direction. No matter which way the wind blew, you could count on Vader to kick your tail with some of the hardest and most brutal metal around.

That brings us to Tibi et Igni, their latest declaration of aggression. It stays true to the Vader manifesto, with a sound that I would describe as the perfect merger between Slayer and Morbid Angel at their best. The guiding force is still Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek, the same as it was back in Eastern Bloc days, and his vision for Vader is unswerving. With this new record, he experiments more with some of the cinematic and symphonic sounds he dabbled in on the previous record Welcome to the Morbid Reich. But the overwhelming thrust is unrelenting death/thrash metal with just enough of a twist to avoid stagnation. Like Motorhead and Overkill, Vader is a name on which you can depend.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Go To Hell
This starts in a purely symphonic fashion, like the soundtrack to a high fantasy piece like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. It’s almost like the theme song for some evil sorcerer or warlord on the march. This soundtrack approach lasts for half the song before finally blasting into a blazing thrash assault that is pure Vader. I’ll bet they start their live show with this and once the thrash kicks in, the pit will go berserk.
Where Angels Weep

No mercy or relief here, this one dives right in with more scorching high-paced brutality and some very Morbid Angel-like guitar flourishes. Wiwczarek’s gravel-grinding vocals remain as gruff as ever.  He has the perfect voice to relate tales of apocalyptic deviltry. This one is short but potent.

Armada on Fire

This bulldozer just keeps crushing, with another intense barrage of morbid thrash. The song slows down for some devastating chug riffs in the middle and the double bass drum attack just about caves your head in.  Is it original? No. Is it effective? Hell, yes!

Triumph of Death

Not to be confused with the sludgy old Hellhammer classic, this one gallops along with a very catchy and pounding pace that is made for prolonged bouts of headbanging. This is one of my favorites here and the chorus of “To the Grave! To The Grave! Still Marching on!” is great.

Hexenkessel

After several withering cuts, this brings us back to a more cinematic sound, as what sounds like a full orchestra adds richness to a song based around choppy riffing that reminds me a lot of Slayer. This tune is more epic and complex all the way around, with a wider variety of guitar sounds and some twin melodies.  Despite the orchestra, it’s still mighty heavy.

Abandon All Hope

Another short, sharp attack, this is pretty typical Vader, maybe a little bit too much so.

Worms of Eden

Opening with a guitar-mangling cacophony of noise and a gut-churning roar, this is yet another killer slice of raging death which sports some pretty cool guitar soloing. Again, this is pretty typical Vader but the energy is just infectious.

The Eye of the Abyss

Very ominous and subdued symphonic tones start this off and build some tension. The overall feel is sad and melancholy and then some huge sounding organ enters. It’s like the soundtrack to an old horror movie and very effective! When the metal begins, it’s fueled by some absolutely ferocious drumming. There’s a strong Slayer feeling to some of the tune as well as some neo-classical guitar soloing.

The Light Reaper

If anybody wants to know what a perfect merger of death and thrash metal sounds like, look no further. This will peel the skin right off your body. . . a whirlwind of merciless metal fury! Even the slower break in the middle grinds.

The End

This is the most “different” track on the album. . . and my favorite! The opening riffs are slow and just incredibly majestic! The whole tune just sounds like it should be the background of a huge war scene. Wiwczarek’s vocals are almost human during the subdued beginning and then explode into a trademark roar where he wonders “Is this the end?” The lyrics seem to be a meditation on eternity and the music theme matches it with more organ and melodic guitar. The tune is not a thrasher at all but is just so huge and magnificent sounding.

Necropolis

This is a bonus track on the deluxe edition and is sung in native Polish. It starts with some slick drumming and a riff that almost sounds like AC/DC or Accept! I can pretty much confirm the Polish language is not particularly suited for rock music. It’s a more “rocking” side of Vader.

Des Satan’s Neue Kleider

Also included on the deluxe edition is this cover of a song by German industrial band Das Ich. It’s pretty odd and again sounds a lot like something from a horror movie, with thunder and organ. The lyrics are in German and the general feel of the song is slow and doomy.

 
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