Vader – “Thy Messenger” EP (Nuclear Blast)
Continuing their near 40 year onslaught, Vader show little signs of flagging with this 5 tracker preparing us for their full scale attack later this year! Formed in 1983, this Polish outfit have gone thru different evolutions over time, be it speed to thrash and finally death metal. These days, they seem to prefer extreme metal and I’d agree, having found a medium that sits comfortably between all those aforementioned styles, drawing inspiration from both past and present in keeping this veteran band very much in the fore of people’s minds. Comprising 3 new songs, this EP also contains a new version of ‘Litany’, recorded almost 20 years ago but still very much a fan favourite, as acknowledged by the band themselves, who promise to feature more songs live from this classic release. Lastly, there’s an impressive cover of ‘Steeler’ from Judas Priest which seems perfectly suited to Vader’s extreme style, capturing both its aggression and powering grooves. Blast beating in with ‘Grand Deceiver’, the whirring riffola and stampeding drums – not to mention blistering solo – show Vader still have plenty of rocket fuel in their gas tanks, but the catchy arrangements and classy melodies are what make this one count. Opening neo classically on ‘Emptiness’, there’s a subtle gear change down as does Piotr Wiwczarek vocally into a more classic death metal style but with plenty of rock n roll guitar breaks along with a slower, headbanging groove before ‘Despair’ once again ignites the fire of friction less kick pedalling, driller killer riffola and brutish drawls of ‘…there’s nobody here..!’. Capped off by Wes Benscoter’s (Slayer, Kreator) artwork, which also featured on “De Profundis” in 1995, “Thy Messenger” is an impressive foretaste in anticipation of Vader’s upcoming summer tour and next release!