Would you believe that its almost three years that have passed since the highly acclaimed ‘Welcome To The Morbid Reich’ came out by these Polish Death Metal legends, and so, 2014 sees Vader return with possibly the heaviest album of their career.
Their Latin titled new creation “Tibi Et Igni” (roughly translated to “In To The Fire”) was recorded between December 2013 and February 2014 at Hertz Studio in Bialystok (Poland). Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawski were brought in to produce this sledgehammer of an album and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes of the opening track “Go To Hell” to appreciate the strength of the new record’s position in Vader’s multifaceted discography.
The opening moments are very much the calm before the storm, as there is a theatrical, film-like grandeur that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Dimmu Borgir album, but it soon gives way with riffs that sound akin to a demolition squad kicking down your door, double bass strick like uppercuts and vocals that echo from your guts like thunder in the night. This is fury personified, and a clear statement of intent from a band clearly rejuvenated, and yet some 30 plus years in to their career.
Track after track, the brutality simply doesn’t let up, and yet it never gets tiring, but of course, as with the limitations of this genre, there are some moments that are tried and tested, but these feel more ‘comfortable’ than they do stayed or forced. There are also some great thrash moments on offer as well, as the likes of “Triumph of Death” and “Abandon All Hope” just simply rip through riff after quality riff at break-neck speed.
Half way through the album finds “Hexenkessel” and it gives you a chance to catch your breath, with a bit more orchestration in its intro, it has an almost uplifting feeling to it, and when the rest of the band join in, there is a very deliberate chance of pace. There is plenty of galloping rhythms interspersed with moments of blast, but also military-esque stomps. Without a doubt a highlight track.
The last 4 tracks see the band setting pace back to ‘blistering’ and also shows some similarities with fellow Polish monsters Behemoth in terms of using tone, vocal patterns and atmospherics. It works really well, especially on “The Eye of the Abyss” which brings back the choir and interjects them with foreboding keys, cymbal crashes and thunder – an ideal horror film soundtrack feel – and ideal for telling the tale of “winds of fire, melting flesh”.
I think its safe to say that Vader may well have outdone themselves with “Tibi Et Igni”, as it embodies all the best bits of death metal, while embracing plenty of other influences (metal or otherwise): it builds on a generation of experience and succeeds in forming it all together in to a very enjoyable album. This one is a gem.
“Demons are knocking to your door now….”