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This is just incredible. Incredible but weird. A little EP containing some of the best tunes Vader has ever produced; and it's in their latter years, an era which is considered a disappointing era by several people. The whole EP however is put together like a real album, only short. There are two interlude tracks in it. The first track which is the mood-setter of the album and connects nicely with This is the War. The other track is Para Bellum, which serves as an atmospheric interlude only. Other than those tracks, Vader is at their most heavy on this EP.
Daray is a drummer almost as vicious as the great Doc. The drum parts are fast as fuck, and although it gets quite pompous at times, it really fits into the Hate Eternal gone thrash music. On What Colour is your Blood he also delivers a great groove metal drum beat. Though mostly what he does are punk beats, blast beats and all of those sorts. It's what fits best with the guitar riffs. Death/thrash crunchy distorted guitars like Slayer, only heavier. The great production sure helps to get the thick sound The Art of War has, but the guitar riffs are the highlight of the album. Although Vader portrays a single statement with this album, the riffs are highly varied. As I said earlier, What Colour is your Blood is very groove orientated (though it's not the boring American groove/metalcore crap, more the later era of Sodom groove). This is the War is the new death metal anthem with his incredible infectious chorus. Lead Us!!!, Die (gin psie) and Death in Silence are more of the standard Vader tracks; full of guitar riffs above the 240 BPM.
The reason why this EP feels more like an album than The Beast does is because of it's consistency. The interludes already give a more concept-like feel to the album. The tracks itself flow nice into each other. It all sounds similar, while not being repetive. It's just the material a death/thrash classic needs, and it's all present in this little EP. Some more material would be nice though. I'm still wondering why Vader would release some of it's best material on a EP, although the rambling group spirit at that moment would explain a lot.
At this time I'm still hoping to see a happy return of Vader as a group, and not Peter and some session musicians. What Colour is your Blood, This is the War and Death in Silence proof that newer Vader is just as good, if not better, than older Vader. De Profundis, Black to the Blind and Litany were awesome records, but The Art of War proves that the modern take on death metal is just as good.