Vader - Welcome To The Morbid Reich
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
12 songs (37:45)
Release year: 2011
Vader, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

I regret to admit that I’ve never been a massive fan of Polish death institution Vader. They’ve always seemed enjoyable but a bit repetitive to me, content to batter out the same post-Slayer aggression that’s been the cornerstone of their career for decades. And whilst, obviously, that aggression has always been nice to dip into from time to time in a comforting way, I never really grew to love them as much as some do. As good as it is, ninth full-length Welcome To The Morbid Reich doesn’t really change that – and let’s be clear, this is very good indeed. You can’t work at a genre for the better part of three decades without getting some form of professionalism from it, and Vader 2011 have a killer instinct that is audible from the very first seconds of this album. One brief orchestral intro later, first track proper Return To The Morbid Reich strides ominously in, fixing you with its dark glare and swinging a big axe in readiness. The tension grows and grows until the roaring madness is unleashed, roaring for the soft underthroat of the listener, fangs agape. Distinctly modern stop-start riffing is mixed in with Peter’s old-school hoarse grunt and some wonderfully heavy battery from drummer James Stewart, moments of sudden melody revealed in well-placed soloing before thrusting you back into the affray.

All in all this is a masterclass in death metal, a soaring, arrogant example of a band doing what it does best and knowing that it’s done damn, damn well. High points are frequent, the galloping beatdown of The Black Eye especially deserving of mention. It’s always astonishing just how much thought Vader put into their songwriting, mixing riff changes and frequent solos in perfectly for maximum headbangage, this solid construction of songs everywhere you look. Like the blood-drenched horrorpolis of the cover, Vader have built themselves a death metal fortress, gleaming solid metal cuts like Come And See My Sacrifice impaling listeners with easy scorn. This is quality death metal, in a scene all too often scorned for failing to do more than reproduce past greatest hits. Yes, we’ve heard the likes of Only Hell Knows before, razor-tipped bastards intent on gutting the listener at all costs, but even cynical old I had to sit back and breathe an impressed ‘wow!’ after the superb I Am He Who Feasts Upon Your Soul, which builds up from an orchestral opening to raging metallic perfection, like Nightwish if Tuomas said ‘fuck it, let’s just get pissed and play death metal!’

By the time you’ve reached the end of the album it is possible to be a little weary of Vader’s crushing power – it’s not like they throw in many surprises towards the end of the album. But who needs surprises when you have the perfect slicing machinery of Decapitated Saints, the ominous interlude They Are Coming... or the grand finale of Black Velvet And Skulls Of Steel, ridiculously awesome crowd chanting behind necksnapping riffage leading you down a dark alley and meanly fading out just as you’re enjoying it the most. The only answer is, of course, to play it again. And again. And again. And again...

Killing Songs :
Return To The Morbid Reich, The Black Eye, Come And See My Sacrifice, I Am He Who Feasts Upon Your Soul, Decapitated Saints, Black Velvet And Skulls Of Steel
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Vader that we have reviewed:
Vader - Solitude in Madness reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Vader - The Empire reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Vader - Tibi Et Igni reviewed by Jared and quoted 90 / 100
Vader - Litany reviewed by Tony and quoted CLASSIC
Vader - Necropolis reviewed by Kyle and quoted 82 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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