know what they’re about and that’s a good thing. The death metal outfit has always been able to release heavy and to the point albums without changing their sound too much over their career, and to some that’s not a good thing. (Especially in a genre as clustered as death metal.) And
yet it works well enough for Vader
, simply because they know what works best for the band.
being said, though, even when a Vader
album isn’t incredibly amazing, it’s still worth a listen or two to pass your judgement, and that’s where Vader
stands with their tenth studio album, Tibi Et Igni
. It’s not as ground-breaking as last year’s death metal releases from Gorguts
, but it’s still a fun experience since you know what Vader
are going to give you.
One thing that sets Vader
apart from the rest of the death metal bands in the world is their vocals. Founding member Piotr Wiwczarek’s vocals are some of the most accessible death metal vocals around, showing an influence from 80’s thrash and not taking to a traditional death-growl. You can hear each and every syllable clearly and his voice is still aggressive enough where it matches the music. Even when the album takes a blast beat-less approach, Piotr’s vocals hold up and work for every situation given by the music. Ten
albums in, and Piotr still makes it obvious what band you’re listening to.
that’s where Vader
’s music can be criticized: you know what you’re getting. It’s gonna be fast drums, tremolo guitars, and Piotr’s vocals in every song. But are they bad? Not at all, but Vader
are still putting out what you’d expect with a few noteworthy songs here and there.
of Death” sacrifices the standard death metal style and takes a traditional heavy metal-influenced beat and vocal delivery that doesn’t let up on the heaviness, but is more fun than the other tracks. It also throws in blast beats just to remind you it’s a death metal album you’re listening to, which is a nice refresher to keep the adrenaline going. It’s not a surprise of a track, but a nice change from the standard death metal barrages of blast beats.
Following that, Vader
re-introduces their symphonic elements that occasionally accompany their songs with “Hexenkessel.” Vader
dips in and out of the symphonic with the intro and outro of the song, leaving the middle for a more death metal focused arrangement, but the string arrangements return and are the more memorable parts of the songs.
like that, it goes back into your standard death metal approach. “Worms of Eden
” has a somewhat interesting intro with the guitars wanking on their whammy bars and Piotr doing growls, but it all goes into your traditional Morbid Angel
-inspired death metal style with some brief breaks to change up the pace. Vader
know death metal has its limits, and they’re clearly doing their best to change things up while sticking to their core sound, to which they should be applauded even if it’s predictable with the tracks in between the noteworthy ones.
is constantly changing their line up, too, but Vader
always manages to find some really amazing musicians to join their ranks. In particular, Piotr and guitarist Marek Pajak are tight duo that sound amazing on here. Not only is the production tight on the guitars, but they are amazing musicians and emulate machine guns on their guitars quite effectively. On “The Eye
of the Abyss
,” their simple tapping melody and the lead work that follows is the best on the album that’ll definitely bring you back in if you’ve been put off by the rest of the album. It’s not virtuoso work but it’s clear the guitarists in Vader
are capable of holding their own.
Drummer James Stewart is also a versatile powerhouse, as mechanical as he is, and wears his Slayer
and Morbid Angel
influences proud. I’m not even certain he’s influenced by those bands, but matched with the guitars, it often times gives off a feel similar to those two bands. Sitting in between everyone is Tomasz Halicki, the band’s bassist, who isn’t incredibly audible in the mix (In my opinion, he should be higher up in the mix to give the album a heavier sound) but when you realize some of his bass lines are playing along with some of the tight guitar parts, you’ve gotta give him credit for holding it down.
the lack of surprises and the predictability of Tibi Et Igni
, it’s a fun record that doesn’t outstay it's welcome in its 42-minute run time. Tracks have that standard death metal style to them, even though a small number do stand out every once and a while, but it’s what Vader
does best and it’s where they’re obviously comfortable ten albums into their career. You know what you’re getting Vader
here, and they’re obviously okay with that.