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Vader: 'The Empire'
Released 4th November 2016 (Nuclear Blast)

jools green
Jools Green


Vader are undoubtedly one of the bastions of Death/Thrash Metal.

In thirty three years they have brought forth ten studio albums, two lives, two compilations and a covers album as well as countless EP's, singles and demos and then there's their devastating live performances also.

And now Piotr Wiwczarek, their founder and only original member, has delivered unto us their latest offering, 'The Empire'.

The Vader sound reached its zenith with 2009s 'Necropolis', but unlike many other bands that reach a peak then flounder, Vader have maintained that level, continuing to produce that high standard of excellence, 'The Empire' being no exception. It's end to end crushing, high quality excitement and after all these years it's impressive they still have the zest to continue to provide this exceptional level of quality.

'The Empire' is a ten track offering which includes 'Parabellum', an up-tempo slice of hugely catchy, quintessential Vader Thrash/Death and the slower tempo, by Vader standards, mid-paced, chunky, and slightly groovy 'Prayer To The God Of War', the two new tracks featured on the EP 'Iron Times' which was released in August. If you missed them first time around, here's a second chance to check them out now.

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The remaining eight tracks are classic Vader with ever present subtle traces of their early Speed Metal style. Every track has a superb chunk or two of shredding or lead work, without exception, and they come at you and grab you by the throat.

The slightly more up-tempo offerings are the punchy 'Angels Of Steel', 'Tempest', which drops away setting things up nicely for some great lead work that spirals into manic shredding, 'No Gravity' with its punchy and powerful slower close and 'Genocidius' whose crushing opener culminates in a tortuous scream from Piotr.

Coming down a notch to mid-tempo is the crushing, fist pumping, headbanging anthem 'Iron Reign', with its excellent, powerfully emotive second half lead work and closing line, "Only death can see the end... of this war!", 'The Army-Geddon' where Piotr takes on the role of the megalomaniac with his powerful opening speech, 'Feel My Pain' with its pummelling onslaught and second half phrased in punchy bursts and finally the dark closing track, 'Send Me Back To Hell', with its powerful lyrics, particularly so with Piotr's rasping yet well defined delivery.

'The Empire' is available via Nuclear Blast as a CD, limited edition 12" vinyl in a choice of three colours or digital download and is an essential addition to your collection.

Hugely listenable and crushingly exciting.

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The amazing cover artwork for 'The Empire' was created by Joe Petagno himself, who designed many album sleeves for Motörhead.

Vader return to England in November for two nights, first at The Dome in Tufnell Park on 14th alongside Florida death Metal mob Hate Eternal and Canada's syncopated Metal machine Threat Signal and the following night, 15th, at Mama Roux's in Birmingham.

Tickets are available here.


New EP, 'Iron Times' was released digitally in August and is reviewed in full right here.




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