Vader - Necropolis (Nuclear Blast/Riot)

With 25 releases, twenty-odd years under their belt and a name inspired by a man with a black plastic penis hat and chronic asthma, Polish deathsters Vader had to produce something pretty nasty to live up to the reputation of their namesake.
Release Date: 
21 Aug 2009 (All day)

Bizarrely, Devilizer opens Necropolis with the same drum roll as Michael "Moose" Thomas opens Bullet For My Valentine's Scream Aim Fire. However, here all comparisons to the Welsh emo wet dream merchants finish. As soon as Piotr Wiwczerak's vocals kick in, you know it's going to be a rough ride. He's got the kind of voice you'd expect Randy Blythe to produce if he'd been gargling Corpsegrinder Fisher's semen.

The solo in Devilizer is frankly abysmal but I must confess, it's difficult not to get a bit of a windmill going.

Second ditty Rise of the Undead unleashes some catclysmic blastbeats which are greeted with some bizarre Andrew Eldritch (Sisters of Mercy) tones in the chorus. Chuck in yet another questionable solo, during which an epileptic appears to be suffering a seizure on the wah-wah pedal and you've got another "ish" song. This continues in Never Say My Name which, although producing some serious pace, completely loses the snare in far too much cymbal caning.

Vader do manage to get to the point during the aptly named Blast. The title kinda gives it away. Less than two minutes, insanely fast, frantic as a man 20 miles from the nearest toilet after a night of curry and Guiness. But alas, the point is quickly departed during The Seal which is two minutes of feedback and noises that sound like Wiwczerak burping into a toilet roll. Has anyone seen Ghostbusters? You know that bit when the massive haggard demon dog is in the fridge saying "Zool..."? It sounds like that's on here too.

Just as you start to get insurmountably bored, The Seal blends into Dark Heart which is quite simply, a formidable thrash experience. Leaving the death behind, Vader step into Megadeth terrain with a song that is sadly irrepresentative of the rest of the album. After being kicked in the pancreas for a couple of minutes we're straight into Impure, which again leans more into thrash than death. It's simple as fuck; three chords, loads of kick drum. Job done. Although they do go for a big finish at the end, which actually fades out and is all a bit confusing.

Summoning the Futura is some kind of chanting spell of demonic witchcraft bollocks but runs into Anger, a ballad similar to Chris de Burgh's Lady in Red...or not. Cavalera Conspiracy's Never Trust springs to mind here, as the title is shouted again and again, followed by explanations of said anger. Vader are not happy bunnies.

The unimpressive guitar work on the early half of Necropolis is completely forgotten as We Are Horde opens with a shit-hot wankorama of a solo from Waclaw Kieltyka, complemented by the consistent fury of Pawel Jaroszewicz's drumming. I got a bit excited when the song went all Bay Area half-beat mental - this kind of noise always gives me a semi and gets me starting a circle pit. Which can be awkward on the London Underground.

And so we come to the end of this Polish offering with The Sun Drowns in the Dark, another thrashtastic deathfest that goes on for about 35 days (well, 7 minutes but Judas Priest it feels like a long time). It stops for a minute here and there for more belching and feedback, then kicks off again. Not entirely sure why a death metal band ended their album with a progressive thrash song but, hey, they could probably kick my head so who am I to question?

is a million miles from the worst album I've heard but at the same time, there's nothing here to write home about. I admire the mix of death and thrash but at points, found myself wondering what they were trying to do. It's not really an album for a die-hard death metaller, it's not something a thrash merchant would snap up either. However, Necropolis does have a definite atmospheric quality running throughout; if your planning to do a ouija board in a lakeside forest, this is the album for you.


Vader's Necropolis is out on 21 August on Nuclear Blast/Riot.