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Vader: XXV

Hard to believe Polish death metal juggernauts Vader have been around for 25 years. To celebrate this monumental anniversary, the band opted not to just release a 'best of' package, but to go back into the studio and re-record two CD's worth of classics. XXV is the result, a smoldering platter of Vader staples, redone 2008 style, as the band takes these songs and injects even more energy and brutality into them. Hearing a new take on early tracks such as "Chaos", "Vicious Circle", "Crucified Ones", and "Reign Carrion", and with superb production values this time around, takes these songs to new levels entirely. Other legendary death metal tunes such as "Silence Empire", "Sothis", "Blood of Kingu", "Wings", "Xeper", and "Kingdom", are all here, along with plenty of others, the band thrusting forth loads of rampaging drum blasts, crushing riffs, frenzied whammy bar littered guitar solos, and Peter's excellent vocals. Keyboards were added to a few tracks for spooky effect, but do not take away from the overall power that the songs exhibit.

Gotta love the booklet that the band & Regain Records put together here, as band leader Peter gives commentary & history for each song, and though the print is small and at times hard to read, once you do it provides insightful background into each of these songs. Throw in a great live photograph of the band, and some cool artwork, and you have a nifty little booklet that further enhances a real solid package from these veteran death metal leaders from Poland. Here's to the next 25 years of Vader music!

Track Listing
CD 1
1. in Vaders 1:38
2. Chaos 4:16
3. Vicious Circle 2:37
4. Crucified Ones 3:18
5. Dark Age 4:31
6. Reign Carrion 6:32
7. Silent Empire 4:13
8. Sothis 3:26
9. Incarnation 3:05
10. Reborn In Flames 4:52
11. Blood Of Kingu 4:33
12. Carnal 2:09
13. Fractal Light 2:41
14. Red Passage 2:46
15. Back To The Blind
CD 2
1. Kingdom 3:21
2. Wings 3:06
3. Xeper 3:49
4. Cold Demons 2:10
5. Final Massacre 4:23
6. Reign Forever World 3:56
7. Epitaph 3:55
8. Dark Transmission 4:34
9. Fear Of Napalm 2:59
10. Wyrocznia 3:24
11. Tyrani Piekel

Added: October 7th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Vader Website
Hits: 3626
Language: english

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Vader: XXV
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-10-07 14:42:25
My Score:

The term "Greatest Hits" is such an odd one to use when it comes to describing the material that has come from a crushing Death Metal act like Vader and yet over the course of their career they have released numerous songs that are beloved by their fan base and would be deserving of such a title when this was taken into consideration. I have to admit that it is hard to believe that the world first heard Vader music some twenty five years ago and yet I am happy to be able to report that they have certainly not mellowed or grown comfortable in their "ripe old age" and instead clearly broadcast the intensity and brutality as fresh today as they did in their earliest days. In order to properly celebrate their anniversary the band chose to take a couple of dozen of their most powerful numbers and get back into the studio to re-record them. To make sure they got to everything they would even toss in a couple of more for good measure and the result is this extraordinary compilation CD. Many times when a band opts to "revisit" older material, there is an inside motive from them about how this was "the way that these songs meant to be heard" and often the results are less than noteworthy when it comes down to it. If you don't believe me, just listen to the disappointing redo of "Stay Hungry" by Twisted Sister from a few years ago. Luckily for Death Metal fans of the world this is not the case with the Vader revisits and instead of lackluster renditions we get a thrashing that is not easily recovered from. The album as a result offers a consistency in production for their earliest material inclusions all the way up to their most recent ones that get featured on the CD and it is sure to please any fan of the genre not to mention the hardest core follower of the band.

With this many songs to choose from its hard to focus on my own favorites but I will say how much I loved "Sothis", "Reign Carrion" and "Chaos". "Sothis" has some subtle keyboards in it now and I don't recall them being there in the original, but by no way does their inclusion take away from the song but instead adds just the perfect amount of atmosphere to the track. The same applies to "Reborn In Flames" which has a slight Dimmu Borgir feel to it in the beginning based on the keyboards and drive of the guitar. The band while led by Peter Wiwczarek (guitar/vocals) finds "Maus" Stefanwicz (guitar), "Novy" Nowak (bass) and Daray Brzowski (drums) making up the recording team for the release and everyone is on top of their game it would seem based on the overall assault force that comes out of your speakers when this is being played at the proper volume. They include a booklet with the release and this was a fantastic piece of historical analysis on every song that made the cut as it is viewed by Peter. I often love to find other writers takes on the bands material but no one knows these tracks better than him so it was pretty cool to learn what was going on in his head when each one came to life. This release is not only a must have for fans of Vader but any new study to the Death Metal genre for I believe that even a newcomer will find themselves looking back into the Vader catalog to learn more about the bands greatness. With "XXV", the world is reminded why this is a band whose name is still held with much respect even twenty five years after their debut.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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