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Vader - The Ultimate Incantation

1992 Earache Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

This is some serious shit right here. Vader, for some reason, are one of the most brutal bands out there, in my opinion. I know that there are faster, and heavier, but The Ultimate Incantation stands as one of the most destructive slabs of metal ever to be released. Another aspect to this record is you know that the production was lacking here, sucking away a great deal of the assault. Much like Deicide's first album first Roadrunner release, the double bass/guitar riffing is perfectly matched, but the blast beats are not as developed as they would become on later releases. Beyond that, Vader are one of the few bands that can hold my interest over the course of an album and Ultimate Incantation is pretty long for this type of music at over 45 minutes. Some of the middle songs do blend together, but for a first release, and for the production they had, this is a veritable explosion ready to happen. Put this on the next time you crash a "Rave" and watch some heads melt.

Vader - Sothis

1994 Baron Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

While actually preceding De Profundis in time, it almost appears as though the tracks on Sothis are more developed than on the future full-length. It's for this reason that I think that Sothis is an E.P. worth having, for I find that I prefer these versions. Just incredible in their precision, Vader are the flagship band for the genre, being one of the most uncompromising and distinctive groups around. One additional aspect which separates these guys from the rest is the vocals. Opting to create a powerful spoken/singing style over the demonic grunting of his peers, Peter made a wise decision, as this style tends to hold interest and fits the songs perfectly. Be wary however, as this is only an E.P. featuring 3 intros, 3 songs and a cover. But as I stated, worth it's weight in gold to hear the sheer intensity of opening track Sothis (which became the trademark opening number for their subsequent live sets). Hear it and know why.

Vader - De Profundis

1995 Baron Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

In an act of mercy, Pavement Records not only signed one of the greatest metal bands in existence, they also decided to release almost all of their back catalogue. Considered by most to be their pinnacle work, De Profundis is indeed prime Vader. Opening track Silent Empire is an excellent example, surrounding the listener in precision double bass, expert riffing, and Peter's killer vocals. What really makes this album so good is the consistency, and the way that the whole thing just flows from beginning to end. No skipping of tracks required, which is optimal for me, as I'm one of those listeners who desires an album to be a complete work, not a collection of "singles". I also can't forget Blood of Kingu, the one "mid-paced" track on the album, and maybe the catchiest, based on a killer single-note riff integration. As I stated in the Sothis review, I do tend to prefer the Sothis versions to those found here, but the production here is superior, especially noticed on the bass drums, which just pound into your heart. These guys are definitely among the best out there, and with De Profundis now available almost everywhere, there's no excuse for not owning this crowning achievement.

Vader - Reborn in Chaos

1997 Reborn Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

Due to the fact that these demos were extremely rare to find, Vader decided to release their infamous Necrolust demo and Morbid Reich E.P. as one album. While all of these tracks have been redone later (with better production), R.I.C. is a must-have for the discerning fan, if just to hear a mid period (they formed in 1983), raw Vader and the noticable Sodom influence they exhibit on Necrolust... Made in Poland at a time when it was almost impossible to record anything to tape, these two works capture a highly creative band in their formative years, and are perfect to highlight the incredible transformation undergone for The Ultimate Incantation.

Vader - Black to the Blind

1997 Impact Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

32 minutes of sheer insanity set to disc, for this album just starts and doesn't stop. Before you know it, the bonus track has played, and you have been lobotomized. I've played this disc for fans of "regular" music, and the general opinion is that I am insane. If so, so be it. This is the perfect partner for a trek to oblivion, or driving through the state of Texas. The production is superb, the playing impeccable, the sound, Vader, which if you've heard before, you know exactly what I mean. If not, imagine Slayer at 78 rpm, and you're close! This is their fastest material yet, and also ironically their most precise. Not as catchy as De Profundis, but 10 times more intense, something I didn't think possible. Another line-up change brings in Mauser (ex Christ Agony) on guitar, not altering the overall sound much, as Peter writes all the material, but I do notice that the solos appear to be more melodic here, which may be a coincidence. Buy this disc, and enter the world of the precision blastbeat, courtesy of drummer extraordinaire Doc, who continues to refine and direct his playing into a surgical strike. Trust me, when this disc is done, you'll feel as though you've just spent a half an hour with a jackhammer

Vader - Kingdom

1998 Metal Mind Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

Two new ones, a bonus track, one old one redone, and a couple of techno remixes may not sound like a good deal, unless the band in question is the mighty Vader. Breath of Centuries gets redone (again!) this time with the new line-up, and the other three "normal" songs all sound like extensions of the godly Black to the Blind album. So why the remixes? According to Peter, some people felt that 4 songs does not a CD make, and in some respects they may be right. Not afraid to expose people to non-metal influences (see the Depeche Mode cover on FITP), Vader have managed to completely alter their sound, and while I may prefer the Laibach style (Morbid Angel) to these presented here, it's still pretty cool to have one of you favorite bands taken apart and completely rewritten. My only complaint? Why the $16 price tag? That's the only snagging point to buying this otherwise essential release.

Vader - Live in Japan

1999 Pavement Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

"I'm just not a big fan of live albums...". How many times have you heard people (even yourself) express that very sentiment? More often than not, most likely, and who could blame us? For especially in the realm of extreme metal, there wasn't much to convince us that a soundboard could accurately capture the sound quality, the energy, the overall feeling that one was indeed in the audience that very night the tape was rolling. There were a few, but recently, a whole slew of live albums have come out, some decent, some a bit lacking, but then there's Vader. I think this album finally answers the question of why this Polish band of maniacs is, and will always be, at the forefront of the scene, for whatever the band does, they do it 150%, putting in superhuman effort to make for a memorable performance. A key aspect of Vader's live show is their use of intros, which succeed, even on CD, in temporarily building the dam which holds the mounting anticpiation. The floodgates blown wide by the opening of Sothis, you really have no choice but to be a captive listener. Focusing on the last two full lengths, it's obvious that this band can more than ably reproduce their studio sounds live, in fact, it's yet another arena in which they dominate. The sound here is excellent, everything caught in high detail, and the mix? Well, the drums are pushed up a tad high, but that would be a petty argument for any release, and given that this drummer is Doc, there's even less room too complain. Comparable to the live Rush documents, not much (if anything, really) changes for the live set, but the energy here, and just hearing the tracks reproduced perfectly with just the right amount of the "live" edge, makes this well worth it. No arugument about the set list choices either, as Vader mix the ultra fast Black to the Blind material with the fretboard manics of tracks Blood of Kingu and Crucified Ones. One more note, I also have to hand it to the Japanese audience present that night for providing the perfect forum for Vader to perform their set. Overall, a stellar release. The perfect place to hear some of the best tracks from Vader's back catalogue, and live, no less! This is the one that will bring these guys to the masses.