Vader’s primordial chaos

VADER: Reborn In Chaos

Release year: 1996/2004
Label: Karmageddon Media

Released by a variety of labels on a variety of formats throughout the years, Reborn In Chaos has been a constant presence in Polish Vader’s career. Compiling together two demos, Necrolust from 1989 and Morbid Reich from 1990, it is a testament to not only the longevity and might of the band itself, but also of the power of extreme metal.

In this day and age of the Internet and instant global access to just about anything just about anywhere, it is hard to remember that there was a time, and not that long ago, when new phenomena spread far more slowly. And an age where there was a very real if not actually physical Iron Curtain separating the east from the west, and Vader were on the wrong side of that curtain. As various sources have attested, extreme metal was not something looked all too kindly upon by the communist regimes of the east. But despite these odds, Vader were there in the early years of death metal and have grown to become an icon in the genre, even if they’ve never reached the kind of pseudo-mainstream acclaim some of their US colleagues have. One must applaud the longevity and tenacity of the band.

Reborn In Chaos, then, shows from where the ever-productive band came, and from where they evolved their distinct sound. For those familiar only with latter albums, it might come as a surprise that the demo material is primitive death/thrash, with a lot of emphasis on the latter. Were it not for the buzzing sounds and muffled grunts, this might well be classed as thrash.

But, because the production, which is lo-fi but not bad, and because of the vocals, this falls quite easily also within the realm of death metal. More than occasionally, the demos bring to mind early Sepultura – think something between Bestial Devastation, Morbid Visions and Schizophrenia. Add a dollop of Possessed, some guitar solos with the madness of early Slayer, and maybe a hint of Morbid Angel’s Abominations Of Desolation, and you’re starting to home in on what the Polish war machine sounded like during their demos.

These recordings have a definite historical value to them, serving as prime examples of early Eastern European extreme metal. However, that is not their only value. The material on this disc is actually quite passable on its own, without the historical background. Sure, it’s a bit unfocused, at times a bit sloppy, at times a bit too frantic, but there is skill and vision here. You can hear these guys had been jamming together for years before recording Necrolust in 1989.

This digipak edition has two bonus tracks, Death Metal by Possessed and Immortal Rites by Morbid Angel, both of which are adequate covers and emphasize the elements Vader lifted from both.

Reborn In Chaos is not perfect. But some of its charm lies in its flaws, especially considering this is all demo material. It’s not the perfect way to start delving into Vader’s extensive back catalogue, but if you embark on that time-consuming voyage, Reborn In Chaos will eventually be absolutely essential for you.


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