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Death metal from my own mother country of Poland has always had a soft spot for me; mainly because you can count the good death metal bands on one hand form the Eastern European continent. As long as I’ve been a Vader fan, which is going on over 20-years, I’ve always loved the natural progression each release has taken. From the humble, yet brutal beginnings with The Ultimate Incantation Vader has managed to decimate the death metal underground with a brand of music that no longer pays ominous tribute to Slayer and now sits atop the leader board in terms of fast, disruptive heavy metal.
Welcome to the Morbid Reich might not be the most original name (working off of the band’s early demo title), but the music is unmistakably Vader in all facets. The band has a revitalized energy that was there for Necropolis, but seemed to just sort of labor a tad here and there. Still a terrific album, the overall energy of Necropolis was just a little…off for my taste. One track into the latest blasphemy and there is a guided tour into all things broken and jagged, with the familiar Pitor vocal that sounds as if he’s gargled with glass shards while swilling beers in a darkened room. His is one of the more potent vocals in death metal music; it’s absolutely easily recognizable. What is always vital about Vader is the lyrical content that never seems to get trite or dull; there’s always a brutality and poignancy that Slayer used to have years ago before they took over the Pantera pickup truck-driving crowd and now offer a lowest-common denominator effort each and every time. The riffs in “Come and See My Sacrifice” are so decidedly destructive that it’s nearly impossible to remain calmed during this album’s duration. Every track from “The Black Eye” to “They Are Coming…” is a how-to in terms of creating and cultivating true death metal that doesn’t retain water along the way. “Only Hell Knows” carried enough patriotic pride to decimate an entire country in war; if Slayer was played in fighter planes in the Gulf War conflict, I can only imagine what this track might do to compliment the euphoric feeling of hitting enemy targets. Everything that Slayer once was but is no longer is in Vader’s arsenal kit, so I suggest you check them out.
Traveling through the album for a second time only lends more credence to the notions that this is a much-wanted kick to the throat that many a band needs. Our movement cries out for a band like Vader who, selflessly, affords us brief glimpses into its collective psyche and takes us deep into the caverns of strife that each of us carries inside. The attentive riffs, the brutal and intentional barking vocal and the intelligent, yet sardonically sadistic lyrical content afford us a fantastical and realistic look inside the fascinating world of death and arduous life experiences we can’t ignore or escape short of the former’s illustrious grip. The causal derivative here between the Vader fan and the band is a perfect marriage because we expect the band to take us to places we fear and loathe, and the band leads us there with no hope or promise of peace afterward.
Vader has always been about the purity of the death metal arena, that’s just a given from the band’s long, storied discography. They’re great at creating feelings of dread, hate, war, rage, despair, revenge, arrogance and strength - the pinpoint perfect formula necessary for any true death metal fan to keep coming back for more. After hearing Welcome to the Morbid Reich twice and going back into the hellish musical hole for more, I can say that the non-rational contemplative essence that is my chemical makeup might fare well for yet another day without incident.
(Originally written for www.MetalPsalter.com)