Vader
The Empire


3.5
great

Review

by ChaoticVortex USER (53 Reviews)
November 27th, 2016 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: War never changes and neither does Vader.

There are certain bands that defy trends, changes and experimentation for a fully developed and perfectly executed style that gives them a signature musical identity. For example everybody knows what to expect from an Overkill or a Cannibal Corpse record. The question is how well the particular band utilize their songwriting within the frontiers of their style" Does the package manages to come off as fresh, hard-hitting and vibrant, or just the same songs with a couple of variations"

We can ask this question from Vader as well. For more than three decades now, the Polish quartet practices their apocalyptic blend of extreme metal that blends the most brutal yet recognizable elements of thrash metal with the blast-beat driven, tremolo picking fury of death metal. With ten albums, numerous EP’s and other releases they maintained an admirable level of consistency, a household name that metal fans can rely on. With 2011’s “Welcome to the Morbid Reich” and “Tibet et Igni” their reign of musical terror reached a new apex, as the complex, spine-splitting riffworks and song structures were elevated with an inclusion on orchestral/symphonic sounds, making them ooze with dread and decay.

“The Emperor” keeps the intense atmosphere only at a few places, thus serves as a more straightforward and rawer display of Vader’s sound, making it more similar to their mid-2000’s records. Of course there are no fundamental changes: With 10 songs and a 33 minute runtime, it has the brisk pacing and sense of urgency that characterizes the band since “Black to the Blind”. The opening trio of songs are all less than three minutes long, yet they manage to pack breakneck string sections, with well-timed tempo changes. This is especially true to “Prayer to the God of War” which breaks its ruthless, Slayer-like riffing with an eastern influenced lead guitar parts that sound something out from a classic 80’s Bay Area thrash record.

After an exhilarating start the album’s quality drops a bit, as some of the songs do fall into the “sounds a bit same-like” category, with less standouts and highlights. The tempo remains relentless and grinding as one can expect, with songs like “No Gravity” or “Genocidius” fully emerging with buzzsaw-like, swirling rhythm patterns not to mention the Sodom-influenced Teutonic thrash attacks of “Parabellum” or “Feel My Pain”. The only exception is “Iron Reign” with its mid-paced, yet menacing war marching, which serves as a refreshing breather.

Piotr Wiwczarek and his partners also keep up their impressive level of musicianship, with riffs both fast and slower, complex and simple, harmonized guitar picking, not to mention actually memorable and melodic guitar leads that add to the songs, instead of being a bunch of random notes played at an excessive speed. The balanced trade-off guitar duels in “The Army-Geddon” are proof of their professionalism and skill. The sound is biting and vicious, and Pitor’s vocals are nothing short of hellish, ranging from guttural barks to slithering snarls.

Overall “The Emperor” does not break new grounds for Vader and feels a bit restrained, less impressive and colorful than their previous releases. But thanks to their skill and confidence, Vader still delivers an energetic pack of songs that gives death/thrash metal fans exactly what they want. Sometimes it doesn’t get any simpler, yet more satisfying than that.



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user ratings (70)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ChaoticVortex
November 27th 2016


733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No big suprise here, just a fast paced, entertaining metal album.

As always any constructive criticism is welcome.

bloc
November 27th 2016


54359 Comments


Thought this was pretty boring

Digging: The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2016


11660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Nice review, I really need to check this as I loved Tibi Et Igni. Glad this is pretty short too, been preferring brief albums lately.



Btw "Diversive" in the last paragraph is not a word

Digging: Windswept - The Onlooker

Ebola
November 27th 2016


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is fantastic

Madbutcher3
November 28th 2016


2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album is actually the one vader album that i say feels particularly different from the others. the mix is kinda lighter and the songs have more of a speed metal/nwobhm vibe than before. i think it's okay but nothing special, worse than the last two but better than Necropolis

DungeonBoy
November 28th 2016


5412 Comments


pos'd. the write up was pretty much what I'd expect from Vader at this point, but will still probably check it out. Band has always been incredibly consistent.

Digging: Dawn - Apparition

ChaoticVortex
November 28th 2016


733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ScuroFantasma: Thanks. Fixed it.

Rowhaus
November 28th 2016


2040 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Tibi was far better. Nice review tho buddy

Digging: Techno Animal - Ghosts

ckssr1
December 6th 2016


182 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First Vader album I've listened to, was pretty disappointed

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
December 6th 2016


11660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Listen to more man, Tibi for example is ace

bloc
December 6th 2016


54359 Comments


Yeah this isn't the best representation of them, given that they've already been around since the early 90s

ChaoticVortex
December 6th 2016


733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If one wants to get into Vader, the first place to start Litany, De Profundis or Back to the Blind.

Jotun35
December 12th 2016


117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't get the "this album sounds so thin". De Profundis is much thiner than that and is definitely a classic.

I prefer The Empire over Tibi et Igni which was sometimes losing itself in filler riffing (albeit some tracks were among Vader's finest like "Hexenkessel" and "Worms of Eden") . Everything is tight, to the point and aggressive here, as a Vader album should be.



It won't dethrone Welcome to the Morbid Reich (their best album IMO, partly thanks to Spider who really went all out on this one and improved tremendously Vader's solos en leads in general), but that's still a solid album.

Madbutcher3
December 14th 2016


2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

de profundis has kinda dense production for how dated the individual instrument tones sound, this feels really clear but has no meat at all



i would also disagree heavily regarding this being better than Tibi since both of these albums have filler riffs (this is vader come on dude), and the peaks of that album are far higher (Abandon All Hope, Hexenkessel, Go To Hell, Eye of the Abyss)

RippingCorpse1986
January 28th 2018


3004 Comments


Solid stuff

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2018


11660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

There's some killer moments on here



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