Vader - The Empire (Nuclear Blast Records)

No ballads here...
Release Date: 
4 Nov 2016 - 12:30am

I do like Vader, and their recent taster/teaser EP Iron Times was a delicious aperitif to main meal that is The Empire. Angels of Steel (how metal is that for a song title?) busts down your door with no twangy atmospheric introduction; it's straight into it with charging chords and howling lead work. Spider knows his guitar and what works well with manic runs galore, and there are frantic drum rolls care of James. Peter's vocals spew forth, and I'm reminded of the early work of Slayer. Vader love the thrashy ringing chords balanced with some major chugging (you can't help but throw shapes during these parts of the songs) - it's a veritable old-skool feast and you can't fault any of the tracks on here. My only gripe is that Hal's bass needs more prominence.

There are ten tracks on here but the album seems to finsish almost as soon as it starts. I can't work out if it's a short album or if it's such an engaging collection of tunes that time ceases to have any meaning. I suspect it's the latter of the two. You can't really dissect the album into individual tracks because it's Vader and they do what they do. Having said that, Iron Reign really does it for me with its stomping riff and sweet drumming. This is the kind of music that when you hear it at a live gig, you lose your shit and (quite possibly) bust your neck. Again, No Gravity produces exactly the same result; spinal carnage, and the only way it can be improved is by playing the album at the most heinous volume that your stereo is capable of.

If you don't dig Vader then this album won't convert you but if you already love those Polish metallers then The Empire will merely increase your deep squishy love of them.