A return to Vader's Reich

VADER: Welcome To The Morbid Reich

Release year: 2011
Label: Nuclear Blast

From their primitively death-thrashing roots, during the 90’s Polish Vader evolved to a veritable death metal machine, who’ve churned out extremely tightly played albums at a steady rate to this day. There is no shortage of the good stuff on these albums, but at the same time there are too many albums sounding too much like each other in the band’s extensive discography. Ultimately, at least for me, this has prevented the Poles from reaching the pole position.

However, every now and then Vader release an album that shows they can, to some extent at least, break the mould and still sound like themselves.

For those familiar with Vader’s discography, the name of their 2011 album Welcome To The Morbid Reich should ring a bell – after all, Morbid Reich is the name of their 1990 demo, which has been widely available as part of the Reborn In Chaos compilation released in 1996. And yes indeed, the name is telling of the contents of the album: without making any major departures, Vader do seem to cast their eyes back to the murky dusk of their formative years.

The fundaments of the sound are the same as they have been for basically forever: Peter’s hoarse, coarse shout (no traditional death metal growls here), the industrially precise playing accentuated by the surgically accurate drumwork (played on this album by Paweł “Paul” Jaroszewicz) and the riff-driven old school metal of death that is neither technical nor brutal, and so on. As I have put forth in my other Vader reviews on the site.

But! There are slight nods towards the thrashier sound of Vader’s early days. The sound seems to be just a tad warmer. There’s just a hint of a more organic touch in the arrangements and playing. These are all small things, in themselves negligible, but together they mark a small but still significant difference to, say, Litany and Necropolis, which I reviewed earlier (here and here). Coupled with a tasteful use of orchestrated synths on a few tracks, Welcome To The Morbid Reich manages to sound like Vader but still differentiate itself from the glut of their discography.

The thing is, Vader really know their stuff. Vader know how to write killer death metal songs that sound like Vader, not any other band. Sometimes this is too easy to forget when they release another album that sounds more or less the same as the albums before it. This is why I rate Welcome To The Morbid Reich as one of Vader’s best albums, if not even the best: it takes all the best elements of Vader, and with small but significant elements puts a fresh spin on their sound – in the process reminding everyone of why Vader have remained a force to be reckoned with for all these years.

In my reivew of Litany I said that if you feel the need to own only a few Vader albums, it should be among them. This is another pick for the short list of Vader essentials.

4/5

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