Nearly 25 years have passed since the release of Vader‘s debut, The Ultimate Incantation. They are one of the best metal bands to ever hail from Poland, second only in popularity to Behemoth, and they continue to spread their blasphemous death metal across the world with reckless abandon. The Empire, their eleventh release, picks up right where 2014’s Tibi Et Igni left off, so prepare yourself to be immersed in a whirlwind of thrash and death metal that only Vader can summon!
“Angels of Steel” opens The Empire in a frantic, melodic, thrash storm. Vocalist/guitarist Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek’s vocals still remind me of a monster that gargles with razor blades and hydrochloric acid, yet he retains complete control over the tones. “Tempest” picks up the pace even more with guitar solo breaks that are cool as hell and vocal interludes that are slithering with evil. “Prayer to the God of War” harnesses those razor-sharp riffs Vader are famous for, and again, the guitar solo is brilliant. “Iron Reign” is my favorite here, and although it slows things down a bit and focuses more on the riffs and vocals, it never loses the ferocity. The vocals just ooze evil. “No Gravity” picks up the pace again with a furious thrash feel, similar to Sodom, and drummer James Stewart really shows what he is made of with his blast beats. “Genocidius” doesn’t relinquish any speed or ferocity, but it has a bit more melody and brings back Wiwczarek‘s trademark vocals. “The Army Geddon” is a bit more stripped down and different than anything else on the release with its Pantera-like feel. “Feel My Pain” brings back the old-school thrash style, yet it harnesses modern day production that allows every note to be heard. “Send Me Back To Hell” is an incredible outro for this album, highlighting the talents of each band member and featuring a chorus that is heavy and evil.
Vader have another solid album with The Empire. If you are a fan, you will love it. Some bands just get better with age and Vader are one of them.
The Empire is out November 4 on Nuclear Blast Records. Buy it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):