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Vader has never pretended to be a band interested in being considered an innovator. For much of their 20 year existence, Vader has stuck to a formulaic approach to song writing and production. The same can reasonably said about a great number of peers across the death metal world. No one pretends that Cannibal Corpse or Incantation are seeking to reinvent the wheel. What all those bands provide instead is essentially the equivalent in heavy metal of good ‘ol home cooking. Just like gulping down whatever it was your mom was best at making in the kitchen, there’s a comfort level with that style of music that can take you back to when you first became interested in the genre of death metal, and keep your head and fists moving. Innovation is worth nothing if it can’t entertain, and Vader simply seeks to make entertaining death metal.
Vader’s modernized take on the classic death metal style originally created by Death and Master is well at work on “Welcome To The Morbid Reich,” their 9th full length of original material, and 15th total studio effort. There’s little doubt once the title track kicks in that this is Vader by numbers - and that isn’t a bad thing. The music is as raw and violent as ever, the twiddling and masturbatory passages nonexistent as most always, the vocal cadence always on point from Peter. Yes, yes, you’ve heard this exact record several times over since Black to the Blind. But goddamnit man, isn’t that why you’re listening to Vader? You listen to Vader for songs like “Don’t Rip The Beast’s Heart Out”, which pulls one of those awesome tempo changes out and just blows you over and beats the living hell out of you. Sure, there’s a lot of bands that are “death metal” that play super fast in weird time signatures or play glorified Hatebreed worship with the occasional solo to make you think its actually death metal. But man, this, this is death metal.
That’s not to say this is perfect. Vader has a lot of releases, after all, and subsequently has written a lot of songs. It isn’t outrageous to claim that the second best song on the album is “Decapitated Saints,” a re-recorded song from "The Ultimate Incantation". Frankly, much of this album borders on the forgettable compared to many of the more classic releases like "Litany", "Ultimate Incantation", "Litany", "Revelations", "Litany", "Black To The Blind", and also "Litany". But really, filler from Vader is still better than 99% of present heavy metal bands regardless of genre. They are to death metal what Overkill is to thrash, for better or worse. This isn’t a mandatory record that one needs to experience, but when in search of something fresh and new to listen to among the morass of half baked new releases, it stands as among your best bets.