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cool shit, if not their most relevant - 74%

Noktorn, May 19th, 2011

'Sothis' really represents the last output of Vader in their more primordial death/thrash style, heavily inspired by Morbid Angel, before they'd come to a more concrete identity of their own (and a more consolidated, essentially death metal sound) on 'De Profundis'. The first in a series of EPs that would follow the band through their career, telling a story somewhat alongside the full-lengths, 'Sothis' is a wonderful little piece, conceptual, fun, and spirited in the way only younger, less overtly mature musicians can make, and much reflects the spirit of Vader in this era: youthful, ambitious, energetic, and always searching for a new angle on their sound.

It's a bit goofy, when you think about it: of the seven tracks on this disc, only three are true, new original by Vader- that leaves three ambient tracks and a Black Sabbath cover to make up the the rest. The ambient tracks are Vader's clearest nod to Morbid Angel of perhaps anything in their career: hell, the title of the opener ('Hymn to the Ancient Ones') is obvious enough, but the amateurish design of all three is another big indicator that 'Altars of Madness' and similar albums were a big influence to these guys. The Black Sabbath cover, much like nearly every Vader cover, is an enthusiastic, silly, and kind of misguided tribute to their progenitors. It's a totally awful cover, of course: it removes all the gravitas of the original and replaces it with kidlike hero worship. It's not without its charm, but it's a clearly terrible piece.

The real meat of this release are on the three new tracks, which might just be even thrashier than 'The Ultimate Incantation'. Packed the to the brim with throwback Slayer riffs, thrash beats, and speedy, simple songwriting, one could almost see this as a straightforward extreme thrash release, were it not for the substantial influence from early Deicide that finds its way onto the record. The opening riffs of the title track could easily be a leftover from Deicide's self-titled, and that influence permeates the rest of the album too, from the rolling, ride-heavy drum patterns to the articulate tremolo riffs and ranting, often double-tracked vocals. While it's not necessarily Vader's most relevant or enduring work, all three songs are fun and hold up to a lot of listens each. The solos dive, the riffs shred, and Piotr never stops barking with the sort of enthusiasm only this band can bring to the table.

This is one of the less essential EPs in Vader's lengthy catalog, but it's a fun item that really reflects the best of death/thrash in '94. Articulate and professional without sacrificing the essential joy that goes with Vader's music, it's a worthwhile item for just about any fan of the band, though not necessarily the most important release they've offered. Certainly worth a look from the oldschoolers.

Polish Power! - 88%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, February 29th, 2008

Wow, Vader from Poland…a very good group that released a bunch of full lengths and EPs and this Sothis is the first one of this long series. They death/thrash metal always makes me happy for the songwriting, the catchiness and the pure power. This EP begins with the intro “Hymn To The Ancient Ones” and only with the title track we let the true massacre begin.

The up tempo sections are wisely mixed with blast beats and really good mid-paced parts with lots of stop and go parts. The solos are in pure Slayer style while the guitars are not so distorted, to always keep a thrash component. The drums work is very good, and inspired. “De Profundis” features echoing drums beats with strange guitar lines…obscure and odd. “Vision And the Voice” is again a kick in the teeth with so well alternated brutal parts wit clamer ones.

The group’s power is superb, especially during the blast beats parts and the solos. Check out the violence of “The Wrath” whose title explains everything: high dose of brutal death/thrash with a catchy refrain and an awesome, evil final. The solos are whistles and pure fury. “R’Lyeh” is another instrumental one with gloomy noises directly from the depths of another world. The final song here is the cover of the mighty “Black Sabbath”, and it's perfectly done. The doom atmospheres are intact and all sounds so gloomy.

All in all, this is a very good EP that will surely be loved by every death/thrash metal fan. Polish power!!

Throroughly ass-kicking... - 90%

ABHORRED, April 10th, 2003

It's my personal belief that this release was when Vader really decided to kick things into high gear, and subsequently perfect their now famous Death Metal / Thrash formula. Allow me to explain why this EP rules as much as it does.

First, I have made many statements about albums with excessive "filler" and how it diminishes the value of an otherwise very good release. That is not the case here, even though there are only 4 'real' songs on this thing. Even the samples and ambient noise bits befit the mood of the album perfectly, and do a great deal to keep your attention in between beatdowns...errr...I mean, songs. 'R'Lyeh' actually gives me mental images of some monstrous phosphorescent cave, with some form of aquatic beast being summoned forth. Very rarely can something as simple as bubbling water and groans stimulate my imagination so.

The actual music is the real star here, the songs are all fast paced (with the exception of everyone's favorite Doom/Rock song "Black Sabbath") and have a very sharp production that does absolute wonders for Vader's super-technical sound. The guitars come in crisp and clean, and there are some downright mindblowing lead trade-offs between Peter and China too! The bass is audible and coherent, and Doc's performance and trigger tone was, in my it's best here.

Sothis: What can I say? It's textbook Vader, and rules.

De Profundis: It just keeps going and going and going....If you don't like this song, you probably wear leather pants and march in parades.

The Wrath: Vader at their thrashiest, I love it. Songs like this really allow this band's (already obvious) influences shine through. This also shows you why Peter is an utter master of riffery.

Black Sabbath: Very tastefully updated cover of the Black Sabbath classic. The synth was a nice touch, too. I have to be honest here, I almost like this better than the original. The vocals here get pretty silly in comparison, though. (Beeple ron becaw day scarred?) I got a good laugh out of that.

Bottom line: If you can find this, DO NOT hesitate to fork over your hard earned dollars for this disc. I would encourage anyone else to make at least a moderate effort to hear this a few times, whether you're a fan or not.