Vader – “Future Of The Past II – Hell In The East” (Witching Hour Productions)
The most famous of Polish metal bands, Vader are renowned for being the kings of death metal – and to old fans like me, still are! Back in the mid 90s they released “Future Of The Past”, an 11 track album covering the greatest underground thrash metal bands from Celtic Frost to Possessed to Dark Angel – and not forgetting a track by Depeche Mode!!! Now, some 20 years on, they’ve decided to the do the same thing, covering even more obscure death / thrash bands from the 80s, some of whom are active and others who remain cult like Krabathor, Thanatos and a slew of former Iron Curtain bands like Imperator, Markiz de Sade, Merciless Death – and Slashing Death – love those names, well it was the 80s! Given Vader’s own past in the 80s firstly as a speed and later thrash metal band, many of these other groups we be long known and probably friends, so having Vader cover their material is a befitting honor for all sides. That said, these aren’t death metal interpretations Vader style of the original songs but rather the original versions spruced up by Vader – complete with guests from those bands like Markiz De Sade’s Krzysztof Hofer and Slaughter’s Piotr ‘Berial’ Kuzioła – now that’s I call respect! Now in middle age, there’s little to notice in the still youthfully aggressive spat out vocals of main man Piotr Wiwczarek who, along with fellow axeman Marek Pająk have produced that authenticly wild n raw sound delivering whirring thrash riffola, out of control soloing and insane wailing OTT tremolo work – as we said back in the day – thrash till death! I can barely hear Tomasz Halicki’s bass in the mix but I’m sure that’s intentional (not against Halicki) but as being authentic to the biscuit tin production sound at the time. Massive respect to James Stewart, however, who’s relentlessly savage drumming propels tracks like ‘Totální destrukce’, ‘The Beginning of Darkness’ and ‘Sen schizofrenika’ into the extreme – 12 tracks of satan, murder, terror, violence and hate – just in time for Christmas ha ha! I can’t think of any other big name band who would do such a thing and if anything this reinforces Vader’s status as national icons of Poland’s death metal scene.