Originating from Olsztyn, Poland, Vader‘s name was inspired by the infamous villain from the Star Wars franchise. Formed by the now only original member left in the group, Piotr Wiwczarek started off as the lead guitarist, but after several vocalist changes took up the duties himself.
Now, after 36 years, 11 albums, and 8 EPs, we experience their latest release, ‘Thy Messenger’.
Rattling the cages, ‘Grand Deceiver’ riles in visceral vocalisations and dissonant guitar riffs that break for interchanges of wild guitar solos that are in tune with the chaotic atmosphere created in this rip ‘n’ roll opener.
Grinding the gears, ‘Litany’ thrashes in a rapid hail of demonic riffs that reach black metal potency which are backed up by the rhythms of James Stewart, who effectively matches the intensity in a rapid gunfire of snares and kick drums. As if reading from the pages of the devil’s bible, Wiwczarek declares his intentions of doom in brief outbursts that wouldn’t appear in any poem but are delivered in direct intelligible form.
Ramping up to speed metal ferocity, ‘Despair’ is a brief yet concise macabre attack on the human race’s flaws and the inevitable collapse of the current eco-system to lead us all to the gates of Hell.
Launching into classic power metal anthems, ‘Steeler’ is actually a cover of a Judas Priest track originally released in 1980. Rather than try to hide the fact they have placed a cover track in the EP, they acknowledge that this is a homage to their compatriots and is a great cover, especially in instrumentation where they create a grand wall of chorded guitars to finish the track in grandiose style.
The only disappointing thing is that the cover is the best part of this short EP. With Vader‘s extensive history and well of experience, more is expected than just a quick blast of death metal, and this is certainly well short of a full live performance.