Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Fermenting & Calming - 70%

OzzyApu, October 14th, 2013
Written based on this version: 1996, CD, System Shock

I only have one major complaint about this album – the snares. Oh wait, I feel like I’ve been here before. Oh shit I have, since this is the same exact problem De Profundis had. That album was chunky and ripping with its bestial nature so thankfully that carried over to this one. Production’s very ripe with that dark tone and curdling, tumultuous drive. The problem is that the snares sound so out of place, going for that tocky sound. It even sounds homely on this one (think of it as everything else embalmed in warmth while the snares aren’t). For example, go listen to that kickass Celtic Frost song and you’ll hear a catchy as hell riff with a flesh-ripping guitar tone followed by tame-as-fuck snares. Sheesh…

I would say consistency is key, but for an album like this it can go either way. Some bands I dislike such as Possessed and others I don’t listen to very often like Dark Angel or Anti-Nowhere League, but others are baffling to cover from a death metal standpoint (Depeche Mode and Black Sabbath). To my ears, Vader are able to make this work most of the time. Peter’s at some of his most versatile moments here, going from his typical hoarse growls to gothic clean singing that’s effective on the final two songs. The Black Sabbath cover in particular is ominous, enigmatic, and does well to translate the atmosphere into a death / doom format. Something like that and the Depeche Mode cover actually make this thing more interesting, turning an otherwise predictable album into one that tries something different and succeeds in its own way.

That isn’t to say that the rest of this isn’t worth the listen. As far as the original songs go, they’re all good. Again, I’m no Possessed fan, but everything else on here is properly executed by Vader into precise death metal. Those Terrorizer songs are the best of the standard bunch – death / grind getting Vader’d is a win of all wins. The mixing on the bass is standout on them, with an autonomous tone that’s brooding and burly. Alongside the tearing riffs it makes for a thick front to the album’s battering. If only those drums were better mixed it’d be destructively good. It’s assault after assault and thankfully those blasting drums can be largely ignored, but god damn does that one aspect suck.

If you ask me, Vader went through production hell during this time trying to get the right sound. De Profundis almost got it right, but there was always something getting botched. Then Litany comes along and cranks up the bass drum and all is well. The drums on that aren’t perfect either, but I’d rather have that bludgeoning sound to the can lids here. The one here’s pathetic, and Black To The Blind jacks everything up, so it’d take them a few years to figure it out. Anyway, this is a cover album that has a few interesting quirks with it and overall does most things competently. It doesn’t hold any special value to me personally, but I appreciate it for what it is and when it was done.

I Don't Usually Do Covers Albums, BUT... - 95%

corviderrant, January 27th, 2005

This is an exception. I usually hate covers, live, and "tribute" albums because they indicate a lack of inspiration and/or the desire on the record label's part to rake in a few extra bucks from the diehards, but Vader changed my mind for this one release. Some of these songs are typical in their choice, but a couple are more left field, and that gives them points also.

For one thing, the intensity level is consistently high throughout this CD. Every song is delivered with reverence and power, and in some cases better than the original. Case in point: the opening Sodom cover of "Outbreak of Evil" is both three times faster and 100% tighter than the original (blasphemy, I know, but Sodom were never known for being very tight or proficient in the beginning). And the production is pretty good too, with an incredible dark, saturated guitar tone that dominates the proceedings, though the drums have a little more of a garage ambience than you'd expect. But if memory serves this is mostly a collection of B-sides and such, so I'm not surprised in that respect. Here's the rundown:

"Outbreak of Evil": A powerful run-through with toe-curling intensity and a heavy foot on the gas pedal. Some shredding wah-wah leads rear their heads as well, and Doc as per usual nails the beat down with his customary precision. Peter's thickly-accented ogre-like bellow takes a little getting used to compared to Tom Angelripper's adolescent snarl, but he sounds more angry and evil for my taste.

"Flag of Hate": Yow! This version is, again, both faster and tighter than the original (and I love the original, so that ought to tell you something). Frenzied leads again tear it up with a vengeance, and Cesar from the band Christ Agony contributes some evil-sounding black screeches on the chorus. Doc's drum solo is better and more imaginative than Ventor's on the original, too.

"Storm of Stress": The first blast beat song on the record, and Doc naturally blasts like a motherfucker, driving the song along with amazing power. Terrorizer are not for the weak of heart and Vader do this tune justice.

"Death Metal": The song that gave a whole subgenre a name is tackled with enthusiasm and you can tell that they're enjoying themselves on this one. Peter's roars of "DEATH!!! METAAALLL!!!" are especially convincing!

"Fear of Napalm": Another Terrorizer tune and again it's all about Doc, who navigates the various tempo changes in his sleep. I'm amazed that the rest of the band can keep up with him at times.

"Merciless Death": Peter's vocals are better and more appropriate than Don Doty's chipmunk squeal ever was on this Dark Angel classic. This benefits from a better guitar sound than the original as well as better leads (DA were never known for good soloing). and Shambo's bass tone is warmer and deeper than the original too. Peter's shriek leading into the solo section is a nice surprise!

"Dethroned Emperor"" Sigh...another Celtic Frost tune, but Vader manage to pull it off. The guiitar tone is better than most CF wannabes and they have a good feel for the tune as well. This is such a covered tune that I have a hard time getting too enthusiastic, but they do well anyway.

"Silent Scream": The fact that this version has the low end that the original lacked makes it even better. Doc again handles Dave Lombardo's daunting drum parts in his sleep, feet on autopilot as he casually pounds back a beer (or maybe not!)...Peter's spoken word bit at the end fares better than Araya's because his voice isn't quite as twee as Araya's was, dare I say it.

"We Are The League": Never heard the original of this tune, but I suspect it's nowhere near as fast and flesh-ripping as this version. The Anti-Nowhere League were a punk band, actually, and people often forget that punk was a major factor in the birth of speed/thrash metal. Cool tune, and Peter gets in his "Anti-Human League!" and "Anti-Christian League!" in the course of the tune's choruses.

"IFY (I Feel You)": A squall of feedback opens this up and this is the most surprising cover choice here. I never was a Depeche Mode fan, and I have to say this is my least favorite tune here on the CD. But I still give Vader credit for having the balls to cover a non-metal tune like this and doing something really different. Peter's vocals are actually kind of amusing on this one, he sounds like your drunk uncle at the family reunion! No disrespect to him, of course.

"Black Sabbath": The primordial metal tune of them all, and if you cover this you'd best do it well. Does Vader hang? Heh, you tell me. Peter's vocals are sinister and cleanly sung on this one mostly, and he conveys the character's anguish well. Of course they speed it up a bit at the end and he goes back to his usual roar, and guest guitarist Greg Skawinski uncorks the best solo on the album! I mean, I don't know who this guy is, but man, he WAILS! The ending with its bluesy feeling is well-done with a mild distortion filter on Peter's voice for an industrial bullhorn feel, and his chuckle and declaration of "You will give in to me," cap off a hell of an album.

For completists more than anything else, this one is, but I will recommend it over most anything else of its type.

Vader - covering all yer classics ! - 92%

Defiler, September 8th, 2004

When it comes to covers, and if to be specific - cover-albums - Vader does it best. Maybe it's that Spagetti accident of Guns N Roses that awaken every single metal band to stream toward a cover album - from the top notch of Metallica to the buttom point of Angelcorpse.
Vader stands somewhere in the middle with their popularity - but they stands out with a highly remakes with the originals, with both excellent trademarks of making a metal cover - keeping the original thrill and also making it abit updated.

Starting with the barrage of Sodom "Outbreak of evil" - might be the first death metal song in the world - Vader swifting their musical skills and accuracy with no problem dealing with the old-school extreme-metal oriented sloppiness. They make it tighter than ever.
"Flag of hate" is even a better example - while the song itself is faster than the Sodom track, Kreator always done it better - song-writing wise.
So does Vader covering their track with sufficent nastiness to make it one of the stand-out tracks here.

For all the dudes who love old school thrash and death metal - Vader understands your needs and delivrer some harsh tracks with Possessed's "Death metal", Dark Angel "Merciless death" and ultimatly, Slayer's "Silent scream". They are also a bit of grindcore out-takes from the days grindcore was right in it's cradle. Napalm Death and Terrorizer respect here ofcourse.

The last three tracks focusing on Vader trying to manipulate other rock-genre songs into their own outfit - and they score a success with all of the 3.

the first is "We are the league" of the Anti-Nowhere-League - a hardcore band familiar to most metal-listenners from the Metallica badass cover "So what?". Vader try to speed things up a bit - making it kinda crossover track with thrilling velocity and harsh vocals.

Depeche Mode's "I.F.Y." is one of the strangest track here, and in Vader career ever. Taking a bit goth-rock direction Vader are utilizing the best of the genre, taking the dark atmosphere to almost gothic black metal parts - but with no onr shout or scream - keeping the song still very calm. ofcourse any Depeche Mode fan who will hear will be terrified to death by the double-bass kicking of Dock's royal feet or the sweeping guitarwork hanging from the Slayer-influenced style of wamming to the licks granted by heavy metal bands, maybe even rock-n-roll bands.
The song itself is super.

Finally we got "Black Sabbath" - the first metal song ever created - Vader take all of their evil attitude - all of their long-time expirience with occult and Satanism - and give this song a new meaning - even more scarrier than the original. Thought it's lack of the Vader famose speed - it has the most shiverring atmosphere and defenitly the peak of this album. Listen to ending parts when the guitar riffs are coming back all together. This is metal, my friends - they way it should sound in the late 90's !

highlights : Black Sabbath, I.F.Y., Silent scream, Flag of hate, Merciless death