Review Summary: Great album, but still not close to their best
Vader have always, to me, been a consistent and yet at the same time boring band to listen to. The band has its own sound, heavily influenced by Slayer, with blast beats and the notable growls from Peter Wiwczarek, the only founding member still to be with the band. And yet they failed to make any real evolution from The Ultimate Incantation, with each album sounding extremely similar, with whammy bar madness in the guitar work, speedy blast beat drumming and growls that almost sound like a low chant. However, 8th studio album Necropolis seemed to be the end of this, for me.
There is not a lot changed sound wise, but this album has a lot of fun added to it, and is considerably lighter than albums such as The Ultimate Incantation and Necropolis predecessor Impressions In Blood and Black To The Blind. This is not to say the band has gone soft, there is just no insanity such as the latter half of True Names. However, when it all comes down to it, Necropolis is still definately a Vader album, and therefore is guaranteed to be a solid enough release.
The first three songs, Devilizer, Rise Of The Undead and Never Say My Name, are three of the absolute best songs in this band's entire discography, in my opinion. Devilizer has its heavy Slayer influence audible in the riffs, Rise Of The Undead is just flat out catchy, and Never Say My Name is just so enjoyable to listen to. The instrumental work on these songs is consistently tight, with incredible drumming and guitar work that is ready to take the listeners face off. The vocals are as maniacal as ever, with Peter never seeming to age, no matter how many years pass by.
This album contains two songs that are covers in tribute to two of their influences. Good cover songs are no mystery to Vader, who have done various Slayer covers in the past, and this is no exception, with Black Metal and Fight Fire With Fire both making an appearance with a far heavier guitar tone and Peter's signature growls. These are two exceedingly well done covers, and can stand proud along side the originals that shaped Vader into the death metal titan they are today.
However, much of this album is just a case of business as usual for Vader, who fail to do anything truely different on this album. They utilize the fast drumming and Slayer riffing and utterly insane soloing throughout each of the 11 new songs written for this album, and it eventually gets very grating. Each of the songs stands strong alone, but when played in a whole 40 minute album, they become very tiring, and it becomes a chore to listen through the album.
This album is a decent listen, and is certainly a strong enough death metal release by one of the fore runners of the genre. However, this just sounds like a lighter version of their earlier work, which truly is a shame to hear from a band as highly revered as Vader. If you are looking for Morbid Angel solos, Slayer riffing and hyper fast drum tempos, then this album is utterly perfect for you, however, and it does come recommended for a listen. 3/5