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"I've Had Better Food At The Ballgame" - 77%

orionmetalhead, April 26th, 2009

You can always count on Vader to supply a healthy dosage of death metal medicine. Without relying solely on blasting fury, indecipherable vocals or convoluted meandering songs, Piotr and Co have assembled once again to provide fans of death metal with the steaming mounds of flesh they crave. Don't allow me to misguide you however; there is plenty of blasting fury, plenty of brutally demonic vocals and twisting riffery. What Vader do differently than other bands from their homeland of Poland such as Decapitated or Behemoth is that, the song is lord - as it rightly should be.

Vader truly excel in writing strong, memorable songs that find a festering place in your heart and the songs on "Blood" are no exception to the rule. Opening track "Shape-Shifting" is the most adventurous track on the entire EP. Taking some cues from the Swedish style, a clear underlying disease, a swarm of frustrated hornets, moves the song through it's phases; starting like a battery of gunfire then marching through the dead to reap the graves of the enemy. Complete with an atmospheric segment not unlike some of the more recent Bloodbath material, "Shape Shifting" is in itself a mini-documentary into the varying styles that death metal can deliver. Superior track, gritty, aggressive and hauntingly memorable. "We Wait" is a monstrously catchy, monstrously heavy and neck breaking festering showcase of well written death. It relies not on torrents of riffs but instead, allows the one or two monster riffs roll over you and crush every bone in your body. It is a simple construct though works like a charm, a reliable hand tool of sorts that needs only a skilled wielder to awaken. "Son of Fire" is a blistering track composed of nothing but hatred and aggression, fueled by the maniacal drumming of Doc and is unquestionably death metal.

The strength of the songs is aided by classic death metal production - thick guitars, a great bass tone natural, live sounding drum battery and an intense though decipherable vocal deliver. One of the best aspects of this release is the mix. It is professional, sturdy and enables everything to be heard perfectly including the much abused and ignored bass. Within all the frequencies however, there is some muddiness in the lower guitar tones - the "chug" frequencies. The increased bass audibility masks some of these tones however, as a bassist, I don't mind. Musicianship on this release is excellent as any Vader release. Piotr Wiwczarek handles both guitar and vocal duties with ease with fine accompaniment from Maurycy Stafanowicz. Adding to the duo's tightness is Marcin Nowak and Doc Raczkowski on bass and drums respectively. As far as a rhythm section goes, Marcin and Doc have to be one of the finest examples of such in modern death metal.

The album has some let downs however, and is far from killing the gopher. The main riff in "As The Fallen Rise" has an Czervikian annoyance due to the repetitive nature of it. I also felt that both "Traveller" and "When Darkness Calls" were lackluster compared to the strong opening of the album. Even though "Traveller" has some interesting lead work, the song as a whole really never climaxes for me while "Darkness," aside from having the best lead section on the album, both takes a bit long to get started and drags on after it has gotten started. The inclusion of a Thin Lizzy cover is endearing though an odd inclusion. It is a far cry different from anything else on "Blood" and ending a Vader EP with a droning ambient-ish outro just seems weird to me. Strangely, I find the cover less aggressive than the original, less epic and lacking the characteristic Lynott narrative style. As a cover, it's fun to hear a death metal band doing a traditional metal track. Tossed on, it doesn't really detract, but it really doesn't really serve the rest of EP either.

Another Good EP - 88%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, March 8th, 2008

Vader’s proliferous EPs production seems endless…but I must admit that, if there are some fillers in these EPs, the music quality is always high…then, it’s hard not to come across some a bit “useless” songs like intros, outros and so on. Anyway this “Blood” EP is fucking brutal and heavy since the beginning “Shape-Shifting” where we are destroyed by blast beats and fast guitars riffs.

The production is great, clear cut and evil enough for this genre. Peter’s vocals are really a trademark along with the pure Slayer style solos. Anyway some more doom parts are welcome to break a bit the impact, like “We Wait” song. “As The Fallen Rise” is definitely my favourite one here for the continuing wha-wha solos, the up tempo and the evil riffage. Pure brutality. We haven’t got time to relax because when “Son Of Fire” begins, it's total grinding madness.

“Traveler” is again brutal death madness with a mix of clear cut blast beats, stop and go, doomy parts and blasting restarts. They are great and various, always supported by great riffs and fast solos. “When The Darkness Calls” is the longest track here and features doom parts with fast bass drums beats and well-done mid-paced parts. The up tempo parts are always present but this time more controlled. The good Thin Lizzy’s “Angel of Death” cover ends another very good EP by a restless brutal death machine which name is Vader.

Vader keep it cool - 83%

Defiler, January 5th, 2005

Vader puts up another bloodthirsty effort in their hands. At first site - this is just another filler till "The beast" arrives, but after a few more listens - we can identify a new terms of Vader's unique death metal voice other Europe and the world.
Started as a regular death metal band, Vader keeps evolving their unique and scarry perception to metal music. They don't care how evil it suppose to sound - they stay with their own style. Surely can be easily compared to Altar Of Madness of Reign In Blood - but there is alot of difference of musical approach to this matirial.
After the majestic Revelations - Vader keeps touching the borders of death metal and other genres (As Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Black metal and even Gothic doom metal).
Shape Shifting is not a standart opennening track for Vader. It has much early Morbid Angel in it - but the C-part is whole made of heavy metal riffs suitable for band like Manowar or Saxon only evloved into a nastier evil percpective. It's utterly blast it's way like any Vader one of the most harsher songs - but the real gems here are We Wait - which is a slower mid-paced song - with some of the most scarry riffs on earth, crawling all around you.
Traveller is also a great song, with more of a thrash riffs as mid-aged Sepultura, and ofcourse some blast-beats in the death metal tradition.

When Darkness calls - a song taken from Revelation consists some black metal passages and a very charismatic vocal duty from Peter.
Vader's guitar-work improved greatly - already on their last album - but it's consist in this EP also.

A strong and an important part of Vader's evolution... Or shoul I say evilution ?

Consistency Is Not Always Bad - 95%

corviderrant, April 3rd, 2004

Vader, in keeping with their standing as Poland's longest-running death metal band, almost never put out anything crap, in my book. Pretty much everything of theirs I've heard, I like, and this is no exception. "Blood", as another person here put it, is far from a stopgap effort like most EPs are--this is a seriously raging chunk of quality Death F****n' Metal with mostly excellent production (the occasional obviously triggered drum sound bugs me, but this is a small quibble), with their trademark dark, saturated guitar tone that hurts so good. Even though a few tracks are from previous releases, they fit together very well in terms of style and theme.

My favorite tracks are, firstly, the opening two, "Shape Shifting", and "We Wait". The first has some of the most terrifying drumming from Doc I've yet heard--he is indeed one of the very best out there, even over Nick Barker, dare I say it--and runs the gamut from heartstopping warp speed to more Slayer-like thrashing, to a killer slow middle section. I'll even forgive them the fact that the riff in that section is a pretty direct lift from "Seasons in the Abyss". Crazed whammy bar leads are all over this thing, too, not justy this tune, and that is about the only thing I don't like about Vader--you'd think they'd improved in that field after what, 18 years together? "We Wait" is outstanding, a slooow masterpiece of doomy atmosphere and sinister riffing and even a memorable lead melody underneath the vocal on the verses. The pounding middle section will inspire delirious fits of banging everywhere!

The next four songs blaze by in a whirlwind roar of speed, and go to show just how tight they (especially Doc!) are, with their stops and starts on a dime, and are typically Vader in that they are very short and sharp. Of these, "Son of Fire", "As The Fallen Rise", and "When Darkness Calls" stand out especially--oh, hell, it's all good.

A surprise rears its head in the form of the Thin Lizzy ( ! ) cover of "Angel of Death", which shows Vader can really play melodic leads when they want to, and is a particularly intense cover version of the more mellow original. This is one of my favorite tunes here because it builds so well from an ambient keyboard intro to a strong bassline, and when the rest of the band kicks in it's like the floodgates were opened. Peter added some more lyrics concerning events like 9/11, and they fit quite well. His soft spoken part near the end, with his thick accent, is really effective in making your short hairs stand up.

OK, we have this, now where's the next album? And I can't wait to see these guys live again, especially after their set here in Houston was cut short last year due to gear problems. "Blood" is an excellent way to pass the time until the next album, and I eagerly await the next release.

A Typical Review - 90%

kudars, April 3rd, 2004

The album starts with Shape Shiftin - a song that has got very strong lyrics and the music is powerful and agressive too. Melody changes all the time. Drums and guitars are fantastic. The song is very good but it could easily be even better. Then follows We Wait which is one of the best songs in the album. I will see the band live two weeks later and can't wait to bang my head to this. The chorus is just perfect. The next two songs Son of Fire and As the Fallen Rise again are typical Vader's songs and there is almost nothing special in them. But that doesn't mean that they are bad and boring, it's just that we can hear songs like these in a lot of Vader's albums. Good that they are short. The fifth song - Traveller is heavy and short but I think that they could make better music for this lyric. There are also some riffs that I think shouldn't be there. The music is better in the first minute and the vocals are better in the second minute of this two-minute song. The 6th song is When Darkness Calls. We can also hear it in the last Full-length album Revelations. I hate how the guitars sound here(sounds like a band from the early eighties). Drums are fantastic in this song. If you read the lyrics of this song than you can tell that the band is not from an English speaking country and it is easier to understand them. The last song - Thin Lizzy cover Angel of Death is pure f***ing great! This is the best song here. No doubt about that. It sound even better than the version of Thin Lizzy. The lyrics has changed a bit and the second half of the song is pure evil and mystic. It is worth to buy the whole album just to hear this song. And when the song and the album is over it is impossible to not play it one more time after a last song like that.

Honour. Blood. Vader! - 95%

Xeper, January 1st, 2004

Another worthy addition to the Vader catalogue, this is not just an EP to tide fans over with disposable material-this is quality stuff. The opener "Shape Shifting" is a classic Vader speedfest with Doc's usual maniacal drumming (I still think he's one of the fastest and cleanest players out there) with a slower and brutal riff breakdown section near the end before blasting back into Slayer with blast beats mode (the solos are the usual whammy bar oriented Slayerfest, with some surprisingly slower and emotive soloing on this number). Next comes "We Wait", which opens with a midpaced crushing riff, and then goes into verses with vocals on top of staccato riffing and a creepy lingering lead on top, creating a really evil effect. This song's riffing is so heavy, it's not even funny-if you don't bang your head to this, you're defective. Must be a killer live song. Again, this song has unusually tasteful soloing for a Vader album (not that I don't like their normal solos, but you can hear their playing is evolving in a good way, if faintly). As the other reviewer said, this is a real standout song, one of Vader's finest IMO. Then comes "As the Fallen Rise", which blasts out of the gates in Slayer mode with that thrashy straight-ahead lightspeed drumbeat and whammy bar opening. Another quality speedfest with constantly fast riffing and some really fast hihat interlude work, complete with squealing lead guitar breaks. Then, BLAST BEATS, just in case you forgot you were listening to death fucking metal, and another killer chorus where all the instruments drop out as Peter screams "AS THE FALLEN RISE AGAIN!!", a trademark Vader move. Next is "Son of Fire", which has a downright sinister riff which is more lead-oriented for them, another killer fast tune. short and to the point at barely over 2 minutes. "Traveler" is a slower-opening one with sputtering double bass that leads into blast beat mania and then more adrenaline-fueled madness as a brief break leads to unison screams and blasts. Sinister rhythm guitar work here again, as they're fond of doing very effectively. Shredding soloing too which ends with a cool little harmonized bit. The EP closes with "When Darkness Calls" with a super-tight opening of bursts. Then rhythm guitars come in, double bass on top, and Peter's YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! into a crushing closer. This song actually has a sort of midpaced thrashy feel at times in the riffing. Vader don't seem to be content to put out the same album twice, which is a relief. Then BAM! Into fast verses with a vaguely melodic lead harmony that leads into another scorcher of a tune with lightning soloing and a heavier than fuck breakdown.
The short version is, this EP is definitely worth your money if you're a Vader fan, and the version I found came packaged with the Reign Forever World album on the same disc, which was a nifty little bonus. The booklet even has full lyrics and everything for both releases, which is cool. Pick it up, you won't be disappointed.