Vader – The Empire – Review

Author: Craig Matthews 

A Death Metal band is good, a Death Metal band named after the baddest Star Wars character is even better. Allow me to introduce Death Metal Pioneers VADER and their eleventh studio album “The Empire”. I’ve got to admit I’m excited for this, VADER are a band I’ve been listening too more and more, I’m just hoping that this new material lives up to the older work.

We launch straight into the assault with “Angles of steel”, a traditional slice of Death Metal brutality. It’s packed with breakneck riffs and huge powerful solos, it’s a great album opener and gets you right in the zone for the rest of the album. As the album goes on you can see that VADER have put all their efforts into soul crushing speed, with this the next few songs fly by without much to remark. Yeah it’s good Death Metal, but there’s nothing there that is really making any songs pop out for me. It seems like VADER are treading in a little too familiar waters.

Let’s not forget though, despite some of the songs beginning to meld into each other this is still great music. For the second half of the album beginning with “No Gravity” VADER wind themselves back up to even higher speed and dispense even more ferocious riffs. Not only riffs but every song seems to have a tight, complex and finger shredding solo. They are just as much a threat to your neck muscles now as they were twenty years ago.

I have to mention “Genocidius” as well for two reasons; one is that it’s a masterpiece of Death Metal and is easily my favourite track on the album.  The riffs are absolutely blistering and are backed up by some powerful and on point drumming. Two, the whole track is a nod to the Star Wars franchise, from an early riff featuring Darth Vader’s infamous theme song, to the lyrics “Join the Empire, Join the Dark side” the nerd in me loves it.

At the beginning I said I was excited to hear this latest release and on the whole I’ve not been disappointed. VADER have well and truly stuck to form and played to their strength, which is incredibly fast and heavy Death Metal with huge grinding riffs and complex solos. The downside of this is that sometimes the songs just begin to blur into each other. Without a doubt this is a great album, I just feel that there’s more here for hard core fans rather than all Metal fans, who might feel this is not the Metal they are looking for…

Rating 4/5

Tracklist
1.Angels Of Steel
2.Tempest
3.Prayer To The God Of War
4.Iron Reign
5.No Gravity
6.Genocidius
7.The Army-Geddon
8.Feel My Pain
9.Parabellum
10.Send Me Back To Hell

Band members
Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek – guitar, vocals
Marek “Spider” Pająk – guitar
Tomasz “Hal” Halicki – bass guitar
James Stewart – drums

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