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A good addition to a long discography - 87%

stefan86, September 7th, 2006

Vader have, except for most of "The Beast", always delivered solid outputs of Death Metal. As they seemed to have ditched the whole idea of playing slower and more melodic with "The Art of War" EP I expected something good here.

After a short symphonic intro in the vein of those on the previous EP, "Shadows Fear" opens up the album with a bang, and the listener is thrown straight into the classic Vader sound. There's as usual a lot of high quality tremolo riffs and fast drumming, as well some nice mid pace playing. Where "Shadows Fear" sounds like it could be on "Revelations", the second track "As Heavens Collide" kicks into "Litany" mode. It's fast as hell, filled with blastbeats and aggression. Only a mid tempo break in the middle changes the pace before it goes back into blasting in the end.

So, now for the obvious question. Is there anything new in the sound? Well, the only real news are the symphonic parts featured in a couple of songs. This could be musical suicide if done wrong, but it's actually quite tasteful. The single, with its Lordi-like title "Helleluyah!!! (God Is Dead)" is actually enforced by the synths. This song's focus definitely lies on being a hit, as the chorus chant (God Is Dead, Dead, Helleluyah! etc.) is about the catchiest they ever did. If Dimmu Borgir got a decent vocalist and stopped doing piece of shit songs like "Puritania" they'd sound something like this.

The CD soliders on with a whole bunch of good tracks. "Predator" and "The Book" are more on the crushing mid tempo side of things, while "Warlords", "Field of Heads" and "Red Code" all goes into "Litany" gear. Now, one might think that a band with only two gears and a quite limited riff library would get repetitive. Strangely that rarely happens with Vader, as the onslaughts of tremolo riffs are of such high quality. The inclusion of such a slow song as "Predator" also adds to the variation.

In my book, Vader have done it once again. It's not the masterpiece of the century, it's another great Death Metal album.