Vader – “Solitude In Madness” (Nuclear Blast)
‘…Vader are a good band, they never let you down..’. Such is the opinion from fans, bands and promoters alike that I’ve heard over the 37 years that this death metal band have reigned. Formed in 1983, Vader were pioneers in Poland where they played speed, later thrash and ultimately death metal which continues to this day, unashamed and uncompromising in pandering to any trends. Relentless tourers on the live front, they have built a fearsome reputation for their shows, but equally a hearty respect for being reliable and unpretentious both in the studio and on the road. “Solitude In Madness” is Vader’s 16th album and continues that trend in blinding brutality and speed, which itself is jaw dropping given the band’s age, but equally reflecting the cumulative song writing and technical experience attained by them over the decades and shrewdly brought to bear on the 11 tracks here. And like fine vintage wine, they all are worth every penny! Lacking no inspiration whatsoever from the state of world affairs, founder guitarist vocalist Piotr ‘Peter’ Wiwczarek has taken all that tension, despair, and loneliness and ploughed it brilliantly into songs like ‘Into Oblivion’ with its massive ominous tone driven by blast beating, wailing and screaming guitars that when brought together with the bass, create huge apocalyptic riff waves that actually quake you physically as Wiwczarek roars through the madness. It’s certainly to be awed in its sonic decimation but even more so when you consider the subtle melodies, cool breaks and superb arrangements that make the music ever so catchy, attesting to the band’s ability, which remains unsurpassed by many. With James Stewart drum rolling simultaneously while firing off his double kick pedals on ‘Incineration Of The Gods’, the cataclysmic riff hooks you in as more darkness pervades, building through the instruments before exploding into thrash made all the more volatile through frantic speed gallops – the energy never lost throughout and indeed grabbing you by the scruff of the neck and shaking you – before the screaming guitars once again turn your mind into quivering jello! Going for even more bombast on ‘And Satan Wept’, the stampeding beats and evil whirring guitars bring together an excellent black / death mix amid demonic roars of ‘..chaos! death! destruction!..’ in a worthy sacrifice to you know who, although the slick inclusions of slower headbanging grooves and even rock n roll breaks add that noteworthy finesse to make even the horned one blush. “Solitude In Madness” is by all accounts another top notch trip into extremity that will be etched into Vader’s history – and your shredded soul. Like I said, these guys never let you down….