Polish scene-leaders Vader go down well
Leaders and torchbearers of the Polish death metal scene Vader are one of the real big names in the scene and have been for quite some time, and their new album 'Impressions In Blood' shows exactly why they are so well regarded.
Following the ubiquitous synth intro that every other metal band these days feel is necessary, as a listener we are immediately pummelled by the opening drum blasts of 'Shadow Fear' with a delightfully crunchy guitar mix accompanying it, which makes for a powerful introduction to the formula the band rarely stray from in the entire album. Often this would become samey and predictable, but until I had listened to this record several times I frankly didn't notice and the strength of the songs is more to do with their power and performance, both of which are strong, than their originality.
The vocals of front man Piotr Wiwczarek break the norm and typecast style of what many would consider typical death metal vocals to be, rather providing the 'meatier' and more dissonant style that most death Metallers shriek out, his vocals are more of a loud, raucous and throaty shout. Interesting both in the sense that it makes the lyrics audible (unfortunately nothing different from the usual, as evidenced by the tongue-in-cheek "God is dead, Hallelujah"), and that it is something different for the genre, his vocals were definitely one of the standout points of the album.
One of the few problems I found with 'Night of the Apocalypse' was simply put the production on the drums, yes they are good, yes they are heavy and yes they are worth hearing... but when they overpower the mix against elements like the guitars which are equally as important in music such as this, something is wrong. It's thankful then the drumming is quite frankly excellent, providing much more than 'just' the rhythm of the track but being an indispensable element of the sound Vader aim for.
This was actually the first time I have had the chance to give Vader a proper listen, and if this album has been anything to go by they are a highly polished, powerful and, well, damn good outfit. If you've heard Vader before and liked them, this album will undoubtedly impress, and if you haven't heard any of their material, what are you waiting for?