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Still reigning even between LP releases. - 83%

hells_unicorn, November 14th, 2012

Sometimes the best test of a band's strength is in their ability to make a compelling EP. The combination of original songs, live performances, covers and rarities can display how versatile an outfit can be within their own stylistic box. While many can shine in all departments, Vader stands as one of the better examples of this level of mastery, as they are well renowned for getting the job done on stage and also for providing innovative, yet not overly adventurous reinterpretations of classic songs. The early 2000s was something of a down point for a lot of traditionally oriented death metal bands, so this release also had the fortune of also providing fans of the old school (Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Grave, et cetera) with something to keep their inner corpse twitching.

The best part of this release is the 3 unique studio recordings, as they showcase the band's brutal yet almost mechanically disciplined approach to coating the ears in horrific darkness. "Reign World Forever" and "Privilege Of The Gods" particularly grip the ears with a wide assortment of thrash riffing right out of the same basic formula as was explored by the Florida scene in the early to mid 90s, along with the wild guitar soloing style inspired by Slayer and further expanded upon by Deicide. They are both fairly easy to follow yet intricate and subtle in their delivery, providing a tasteful mixture of completely insane blast sections and only partially insane up tempo assaults loaded with double bass drum quakes and a unique layering of tracks that is dense enough for "Altars Of Madness", yet vicious enough for "Pierced From Within".

Naturally one should discount all the other goodies found on here, particularly the cover songs which showcase Vader's flair for adapting songs from the thrash, heavy and black metal sub-genres to their own death metal medium with ease. The cover of "Freezing Moon" is particularly telling as the vocal interpretation features a much more subdued and narrator-like approach out of Piotr Wiwczarek, who is normally known for his signature guttural barks and growls. It's a good bit different than the goblin speak of Atilla or the plain frostbitten grit of Dead, but it fits in quite well with the somewhat heavier and slightly less atmospheric and cold instrumental interpretation that Vader brings in with it.

While perhaps not the best starting place for someone looking to get into this band, "Reign Forever World" is definitely a good addition to the collection, especially for those who really enjoyed the multifaceted character of "Litany", as the 3 original songs are stylistically very similar to it and this EP also contains 2 bonus tracks that are not available on the American release of said album. Vader stands as one of the few representatives of the early death metal scene that has proven completely consistent and free of any long hiatus or breakup periods, and this is no exception to their quality output.