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It's Polish death metal time! Do Dies Irae sound like Vader? Yes they do. But there's a good and totally justifiable reason for this: The drummer Doc (may he continue banging his head in the next dimension) and the guitarist Mauser were in Vader's line-up when this album was released in the first half of 2000.
A lot of blasting death metal with ripping riffage with headbangeable military beats every now and then. During these energetic high-speed explosions, the only breathers are the otherworldly soundscapes at the beginning of 'Sirius B' and the closing of 'Lion of Knowledge'. Otherwise it is all fast or fucking fast! Dies Irae can hurl some tasty and adhesive riffs, but still in the end it all feels quite unvarying and very, very Vader-esque. Also Morbid Angel's spirit is near. But if that's okay by you, then 'Immolated' is very okay indeed. Guitar solos, which go up 'n' down the fretboard are fine. The vocals by Novy, who was not yet in Vader when this came out, are gutsy low growling but bloody one-dimensional, and you'll need the printed lyrics to follow them...
The pounding, drum-orientated Selani Studio production sounds perfect for the music. The lyrical themes circle around various mythologies (Persian, Mali's Dogon tribe, Carthaginian, Arabic, Cthulhu Mythos), religion (of course good old Christianity) and philosophies (Aleister Crowley). Written by Łukasz Szurmiński, who also have penned some stuff for... Guess who?! Vader of course! Anyways, he knows his stuff and can create interesting lyrics. The computer-generated cover artwork is an abomination to watch! Try not to notice it.
These guys smelled like, breathed and shitted death metal. They might sound like a double of Vader, or very close at least, but that does not lessen the brutality and the functionality of 'Immolated'. The decision is your's. I say aye.
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2009)
Dies Irae sounds a lot like Vader if Vader were completely uninteresting and wrote meaningless songs that manage to be too long at two minutes each. This isn't terrible music, but it's a relatively incompetent Vader clone that's unnecessary to acquire for anyone even remotely versed in the death/thrash scene. Dies Irae is able to occasionally stumble on a decent riff here or there, but overall the package is so sterile and mediocre that I can't honestly think of anyone who would want to hear it.
Admittedly the production is really good: it's super clear, heavy, well-rounded and full, and it's a shame it's used on such otherwise generic music. There's really nothing to this but modern Vader: drumming is blast and double bass oriented and the number of slow sections across the album can be counted on one hand, guitars grind out sleek, modern death/thrash riffs in the Vader style, and even the vocals greatly resemble the barking of that band. The difference is that Dies Irae has none of the subtlety and pacing of Vader; it's like they're a random local death metal band plucked by a major label and given the technical skill and production budget to make their incredibly mediocre songs a reality.
The album is packed with the sort of go-nowhere riffs which make you wonder why they were written at all. Most of them sound like they could have been the genesis of more interesting riffs, but the band decided they were good enough and just injected them wherever a riff was needed. The songs are relatively coherent in that everything sounds like it should come from the same track, but I'm not sure if that means anything when every song already sounds exactly the same. They're brief bursts of modern death/thrash with fast drumming and rather monotonous riffing and vocals; the band has no idea how to change up their formula periodically to keep the listener guessing, so the whole CD comes off as predictable and trite.
This is the sort of thing most bands would crank out if they arbitrarily decided to make a death metal album; however, most of those bands don't get major CD releases (although judging by Crash's history, maybe they do). 'Immolated' isn't a bad death/thrash album, and it has its moments of quality, but overall it's just so plain that I can't see a reason to ever listen to it. I guess if you can get it for like a buck and a half like I did it's a worthwhile investment, but I wouldn't go even a step out of my way for it.
Let's get this out of the way straight off.
Dies Irae is effectively three quarters of the 'Revelations' period Vader lineup with the addition of Jacek Hiro (Sceptic) on additional guitars - sharing solo duty with the already famously capable Mauser - so there is inevitable comparisons to the larger band.
It is with these thoughts of Vader ringing in your mind that you listen to this album and if I'm perfectly honest, it's not a detrimental thing either for one simple fact.
Whether they would care to admit it or not, the music on 'Immolated' is in effect Vader reworked - to put it a little too bluntly.
By this I mean that it has the principal elements of Vader circa the 'Litany' and 'Revelations' era material, considered by some (read: me) to be their finest work, but with that little bit more beef to the sound, less stoicism to the writing and generally just a greater appeal than when Vader inadvertently revert to treading water.
Somewhat oddly, considering the type (or more importantly tempo) of music on offer, the band decided to produce a promo video for the slowest most down-tempo song on the album, last track 'Lions Of Knowledge'. The video and song are quite enjoyable and lead to an interest in the band, but I dare say the vast majority of people who see the video would then search out Dies Irae under the presumption that it was mainly down-tempo music, instead of the Vader facsimile it is.
All in all there are far worse Polish death metal albums you could listen to and for all it's lack of originality aside, this album sure has it's appeals for fans of that Vader sound.
They're not reinventing the wheel so much as giving it some new tyres and some bitching alloys to rejuvenate the ride.
Not a bad LP, pretty fucking good in places. Simple musically, but a moody feeling to it. The vocals are at a nice medium, low growls, suiting the band perfectly. The drumming is good, the guitar work fairly tight, but not inspirational.
Great scream on track 2, "Message Of Aiwaz", the whole tempo of the song is strange, but great. The solo in this song is shit though. But at least it is fucking short, so it's ok.
"Sirius B", has a weird build up intro o.O, but fucking great song. Great fill in solo starting on 2:36. This band kind of remind me of a good Vader. Like, take the structure and simplicity of Vader, but give them more talent, and better solos and better vocals. Shit, just a whole better band.
The intro to "Immolated" is almost annoying, can't tell you why? :-S But when the vocals kick in, it becomes great, and FUCK the solo on 0:43, wtf?!?! Great fucking solo. 1:06 is a great riff.
The next song, "The Namless City", is a strange song in comparison to the rest, I don't fucking like it.
Not a bad solo on "Lion Of Knowledge". In fact, both solos on that song are pretty good.
All in all, not bad, but not fascinating, just fairly impressive, I suppose. Check it, yeah.