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Amazing live album - 93%

ThrashAeons, October 13th, 2008

Vader is a very respected 'death metal with a thrash approach' band from Poland, formed in 1983 and ever since creating quality metal. Live in Japan could very well be one of their best. Everything starts off with the theme song from Omen (“Damien Intro”) and the obviously excited Japanese fans showing their support for the band, then all of a sudden “Sothis” kicks in, giving us a taste of the devastation that is to come. A great way to open even a studio album.

The level of musicianship is very constant all the way through, showcasing one of Doc's best performances ever (R.I.P.), hardly any instrumental errors noticeable and a great production for a live album. Peter's vocals sound great as always. You can easily imagine being there and headbanging to classics like “Black To The Blind” and “Silent Empire”. Probably my favourite track on this album (or even my favourite Vader song overall) is “Carnal”, the great stop and go death metal frenzy is simply intense. Vader is known for that recognisable powerful sound they perfected over the years and this album is no different. There are also two covers here, one of Slayer's “Reign In Blood” and the other of Black Sabbath's “Black Sabbath”, both of them have that Vader sound and are performed just as well. The whole concert must have had a great atmosphere, as a little bonus Peter even speaks a word or two in Japanese.

Live In Japan is not without flaws, some might at first find it unappealing without the subtleties of the album recording but anyone into extreme metal will enjoy it. The only problem I will mention is the long length, if you want to listen to the album in its entirety and more than one time in a row it might prove to be a bit too much, excluding all the intros and breaks between songs you are still left with about 50 minutes of solid death metal pounding which can become repetitive. It is the only major complaint but the nostalgia factor attached to this album pretty much cancels it out (I can't forget that it was one of the first death metal albums I bought). Concluding, if you don't own any Vader material yet then this is a great place to start, if you are a long time Vader fan then get this one and trust me, you won't be disappointed either.

About as good a live album you could get - 100%

Apokalyptik, August 14th, 2004

I'm listening to this right now, it must be something like the 50th time I have - and it still amazes me. The band storms through their pre-'Litany' set as if their lives depend on it. The performance is spot-on - the only notes dropped are in guitar solos, and the drumming is phenomenal, Doc taking the standards he set in the studio and outdoing them live.

A common problem with live albums/DVDs (a case in point being Slayer's live at the Warfield performance) is that the vocals are often way off. Not so here. The vocal performance is absolutely faultless, no mean feat considering he's playing some insane riffs at the same time!

If there are any criticisms to the album, it would be that sometimes the distinction between the bass drums and bass guitar gets muddy in the mix - but this is clutching at straws - it's not a flaw to spoil the album.

In short, this is a fantastic live album that any metal fan would surely be glad to own. Now that it has been re-released with the 'Sothis' MCD included, there really isnt a good excuse not to own this.