Vader - Welcome to the Morbid Reich (Nuclear Blast/Riot)

The veteran Poles are at the top of their game for this new release.
Release Date: 
4 Aug 2011 - 11:30pm

Even if you have only a tenuous grip on what the term death metal means, one listen to anything released by Vader in their near-thirty year history would be enough to fill in all the gaps in your knowledge. They are the genre in its simplest, purest form, dodsmetal to the nth degree. Consequently, it’s occasionally been appropriate in the past to level accusations of musical ludditism at the band, whose real crime only really ever has been that they know what they love, and love what they know; There is a certain saminess in a lot of what they do. In the live arena, this quibble is swept away by the sheer force of Vader’s argument when it’s backed up by a wall of amplification. At home it’s not that easy, and so – however unfair you may think it- Vader have struggled to get above average acceptance as the real deal outside of their native Poland.

That may all be about to change with Welcome to the Morbid Reich. Supported by a label with the clout to make things happen, and finally resting on a lineup that seems capable of advancing on all fronts,  Vader may at last be about to break out on a wider scale than ever before. Of course, these planets aligning are as nothing if the ‘product’ is no good, but our luck’s in here as well. WTTMR is a frankly devastating album, start to finish top notch schmutter with no weak links to be heard anywhere. New guitarist Spider takes away a lot of the plaudits here; his riffage is relentless, his soloing devastates with the surgical skill only the true greats of the genre can muster. The little melodic run he throws in at the end of I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul is spine tinglingly good, as is his effortlessly classy break on Don’t Rip the Beasts Heart Out.

And let‘s not forget Piotr Wiwczarek. This is a Vader album, remember, so there’s an awful lot of gut-wrenching howling and growling going on – and Ol’ Pete has frankly never sounded so menacing. Pushed high in the mix, his guttural utterances almost become another instrument, another brick in the wall of sound if you like, and the man carries out his task with such conviction you never once wish they’d turn him down a bit. Well, almost never anyway.

As with most albums of this level of unrelenting brutality, only those of superhuman stamina won’t feel themselves tiring a little towards the end – indeed how does (sadly recently departed) drummer Paul Jaroszewicz manage to keep this level of godlike commitment to the cause up for the duration? Perhaps of all the elements that go to make up ...Morbid Reich it’s his inhuman skinbeating that makes everything work so well, especially on the thermonuclear reinterpretation of old chestnut Decapitated Saints found here; which is a a man of the match performance in every way.

A marvellous album, then, well worth your attention if you’ve a yen for anything on the extreme side of things, and definitely a contender for death metal album of the year. Now let’s have a whip round and send a copy to Dave and Trey...