As death metal promulgated through previously communist countries a new wave of second-generation bands, technically- and aesthetically-refined, emerged and took to the forefront with people like Vader leading the way with their 1993 release The Ultimate Incantation.

Morbid Reich

Production: Drums are too loud but guitar is clear, although everything is muddled and guitar layering often cancels all distinctiveness between the signals. Then again, I can only get this on tape.

Review: Songs from the first album in a simpler style but essentially the same, so there’s not much point saying anything other than fast death metal in the style of Slayer, with chaotic lead guitar but missing some of the more precise strumming techniques, which would follow on the next album. This is simply great death metal in a rudimentary form.

Copyright © 1994 Baron Records

Track Listing:
1. From Beyond (intro) - Very much so, fake spookiness but it's sort of amusing.
2. Chaos
3. Vicious Circle
4. Breath of Centuries
5. The Final Massacre
6. Reign Carrion

The Ultimate Incantation

Production: Preservation of guitar tone is excellent; the tone of guitar is dark and metallic in a strangely organic way. Instruments are clearly heard but could use more depth; part of this illusion comes from the low crunchy vocals.

Review: In the same way Slayer’s Show No Mercy built epics out of a few chords of fast riffs and breakdown derivations, Vader come forth with an almost ambient water-motion style of metal that builds a pulse in the whipping strum of the guitar and supports it with a network of simple relative rhythms within percussion of strum, rhythm of vocal emphasis, and percussion instrument cohesion. Their structures are simple but gesture toward the epic and vast althought currently focusing on the prime elements of good pop music: driving beat, guitar rhythm and motion of tone, and vocal expression. What is staged upon this foundation is enormous in that it makes a great thing out of very few things.

The exceptional nature of this creature is the overall rhythmic comprehension of each song, as riffs meld into one another and emerge recreated, forging new streams of energy which collide and batter victory upon each other in driving blast beats under a voracious vocal scream. There are rhythms of the motion of violent life, of cataclysmic conflict and destruction, that drive this music to its own authenticity of logic and reason.


1. Creation (intro)
2. Dark Age
3. Vicious Circle
4. The Crucified Ones
5. Final Massacre
6. Testimony
7. Reign Carrion
8. Chaos
9. One Step to Salvation
10. Demon's Wind
11. Decapitated Saints
12. Breath of Centuries
Length: 48:25

Copyright © 1993 Earache

Bulleting double-bass drumming punctuates the process with 16th notes under blasting or double-hit drumming. The rapture of enjoying this would be hearing it all simultaneously, and not to be distracted by an instrument or voice but to hear the rhythm shared and avoided between all elements of the song. It posits a deconstructionism and a unity, at the same time, in the bastard language of chaos that plagues mortal humans.

Its darkness emerges in a steady doubt and seething anger of the abyss which it promulgates with a blank face of acceptance mitigated by the twisting smile of pain. Recommended for fans of fast death metal.


Production: Clear and textural.

Review: Don't buy this album, Sothis, unless you're a collector or become fanatically inspired by this article, because it's not a good deal: 3 songs and some amusement for an import price. Buy it because what it has is critical evolution of death metal, an advanced artform coming perhaps past a logical time and past the real innovations of this style, but nonetheless a unique and evocative perspective of the genre.

The great innovations that Vader make occur within three real songs on this album and in some of the intros, but definitely not in the Black Sabbath cover ("Black Sabbath").

The album opens with an intro and has an intro two tracks later and then an ambient masterpiece four tracks beyond alluding to and incorporating some of the sound-collage and ambient ideas of black metal; the intro starts with bubbling noises over dark groans and explosions, calling voices of demons in the deconstruction of a world.


1. Hymn to the Ancient Ones
2. Sothis
3. De Profundis
4. Vision and the Voice
5. The Wrath
6. R'Lyeh
7. Black Sabbath
Length: 23:45

vader sothis from 1995
Copyright © 1995 Baron

The opening intro is less profound, with wheeling noise and guitar crashing underneath fairly silly chanting about the ancient ones, but it is hardly surprassed by "De Profundis," which is a trudging bass-drum time-waster.

In conclusion: Out of seven tracks, two are worthless intros; the Black Sabbath cover may be disparaged by some and is painful to listen to for vocal reasons: the vocalist can't reach and doesn't try to attain the vocal performance of Ozzy Osbourne.

The remaining three tracks (7 tracks - (3 intros + 1 cover)) are powerful death metal in Vader's characteristic fast-strumming, Slayer-esque style.

The album whose songs would compare to these would be Morbid Angel's Covenant: with fast strumming in alternating rhythms drifting in out and of synchronization with itself, and quickly switching patterns augmented by rhythmic and structural modifications, this album successfully double-tracks guitar and builds a rhythmic and melodic sense sublime beneath the powerful, evident riffs in the way Morbid Angel integrated black metal elements back in 1993.

Lead guitars are fast and noisy, often chaotic, but eerily integrate well with the motion of the music. In a distinct style, Vader have integrated the dark and melodic elements of black metal with the powerful, fast, and structural forces of death metal; for this they deserve praise, but only the brave are gonna buy this for the three real songs it has to offer.

However, in that there's the acquisition of some metal that's actually rewarding, a rarity for death metal after 1993.

De Profundis


Production: Lucid and with range.

Review: Some time after the above was written Vader's full length album, De Profundis, appeared in my possession and was immediately eviscerated for the cause of its deconstructionist pummel upon the reader. It posits a deconstructive rationalism, a structural viciousness of perception, that takes on a mystical dimension of abstraction despite the derelictnature of its muse-servants, the almighty modern artists Shambo, China, Peter, and Doc.

Whether or not you think this music is sufficiently advanced to make any waves in the guitar-snob world, you will acknowledge the complex structures with chaotic mirroring of expression that unify what would otherwise be a collection of disparate ideas into a song. You hear deconstruction, you feel the real structure emerge, a sublime of idea under impression of chaos.


1. Silent Empire
2. An Act of Darkness
3. Blood of Kingu
4. Incarnation
5. Sothis
6. Revolt
7. Of Moon, Blood, Dream and Me
8. Vision and the Voice
9. Reborn in Flames
Length: 34:03

vader de profundis 1995
Copyright © 1995 Croon

I don't know if this is conscious; to me this album sounds like a more advanced version of Slayer's Show No Mercy or Massacra's Final Holocaust: it has many fairly random, angry ideas that convey a general spirit. Even the lyrics are deconstructionist, basically phrases unified with rhythmic filler. The phrase is emphasized, and the rest holds the beat in exploded-throat chanting. Vader's work differs in that it builds complex structures out of its unification of dissonance into idea, both in raw sound and in structural opposition within its boundaries.

The music reminds us that all our perceptions are just containers, and brings into play the rare and intricate art of complex recombinance. In this it significantly differs from The Ultimate Incantation, Vader's 1993 debut on Earache Records. There is not as much of the melodic experimentation as on Sothis, but its more deathmetal replacement is very fast strumming of chords or low notes to produce a flowing feel to the music, a blurring of structure, between more definitive moments of the song.

An aesthetic of chaos disguises intricacy in the twisted and self-distorting lead guitar that shoots through layers of riff patterning like a sign flash-lit by lightning. Another expansion on a Slayer innovation, this is not as technical as Morbid Angel but is more noise-y, perhaps a less neurotic K.K. Null crossed with Glenn Tipton.

Production is decent. On Croon Records, Krakow, PL. LASOTY 8. All album notes are in Polish but lyrics and explanation are English. Hopefully an Amerikan label will pick this up, because it kicks ass and there's a huge market for it in Amerika (Pavement did). I think this album could be termed a logical successor to Slayer, because all though it is not so awe-inspiringly outrageous, it follows and develops the logic of Slayer more than Slayer can at this time.

The Darkest Age

Production: Live in Krakow, Poland, on 13DEC93, and it carries all the burden and pain of live albums. Guitars are often destroyed by voice, coming overhead as a blast of static, and often drums bass and voice peak each other into oblivion. However most of the time you can hear guitars and relatively clear representations of solos and intricacies in the song, although detail is lost.

Review: Vader play their songs almost exactly as they exist on record, specifically their first "The Ultimate Incantation." There are recorded outros/intros and brief moments of the band speaking. The whole set is one track on the CD, with long pauses of crowd noise between songs, to give you the real experience of being there.

Copyright © 1995 Baron Records

1. Macbeth (Intro) - Fades in through noise and shouting for almost seven minutes. Kind of cool however keyboards and marching music.
2. Dark Age
3. Vicious Circle
4. Crucified Ones
5. Demon's Wind
6. Decapitated Saints
7. From Beyond (Intro) - Intro from Morbid Reich; atmospheric keyboard outro with voices, pretty insane but not really that unlaughable.
8. Chaos
9. Reign Carrion
10. Testimony
11. Breath of Centuries
12. Omen (outro) - Monks chanting with some symphonic accompaniment, breaks into operatic prayer with crowd chanting what sounds like "Block that Kick" over the brassy recording. This is entirely laughable and it's sort of cool.
13. Hell Awaits -- Competent playing fit into the Vader style of this Slayer standard. Brief energetic introduction in Polish which sounds really cool, but I have no idea what he's saying.
Length: 56:29

The Future of the Past

Production: Roomy and warm, reminiscent of last Vader album.

Review: This album of cover tunes samples influential metal bands by displaying their works in the styles and production of Vader's exalted attack. A track by track analysis follows:

1. Outbreak of Evil/Sodom - Faithful cover reproduces this song more solidly than original and as such makes it more mechanical, almost more evil, but with the Vader energy more aggressive and speed-thrills rippingly enjoyable.
2. Flag of Hate/Kreator - Excellent cover much in the spirit of the original with some textures restructured to make song more coherent in newer senses of metal music. New vocal work expands upon original concepts to a more plausible degree.
3. Storm of Stress/ Terrorizer - Representative cover, playing grindcore like a death metal band but it works out. The precision of Vader starts to hurt them on material this simple.

Copyright © 1995 KOCH International

4. Death Metal/Possessed - Much as the Cannibal Corpse cover of Exorcist brought it to light for listeners familiar with the clearer-cut, less ragged sound of modern death metal, Vader take this original tune and put it into a more refined arrangement for display as what it is. Some might hint that the "evil" is lost, but the design of the song (and its universality and progeneritorship in the genre) burns through in a high-speed replication.
5. Fear of Napalm/Terrorizer - Very pat cover which shows how easy this faithful cover must have been for a death metal band with this much accuracy in their instrumental delivery.
6. Merciless Death/Dark Angel - Sounds similar to what I've heard this band produce, but having not heard the original I can only say it seems as rigidly pre-learned as the other songs here.
7. Dethrone Emperor/Celtic Frost - Slightly stepped up cover of this classic Frost tune, expanded with the mastery of techniques inherent in modern death metal.
8. Silent Scream/Slayer - Reasonable cover of this song revealing much of Vader's inspiration from this band. There is elucidation of the core of Vader's sound here; the later Slayeresque combination of long phrases of vibratto resonance with blast-percussive, stop-start styling that took what speed metal had and made it much more extreme.
9. We Are the League/The Anti-Nowhere League - Seems to be a pop song, and not having heard the original I can only say the song holds together.
10. I.F.Y/Depeche Mode - "I Feel You," as this song was originally titled, grooves nicely like a pop-rock combo song but holds little interest or familiarity for this reviewer.
11. Black Sabbath - The same track Vader had on Sothis, this cover almost manages the vocal duties inherent in this song but instrumentally manages a beautiful cover.
Length: 36:17

Black To The Blind

Production: Textured with timbre and streaked with peaks of sound this production is rendered precisely and although with relatively generic instrument tone, extreme clarity.

Review: Taking a more populist tack toward the battle-fast death metal of their last album, Vader combine different parts of their history in a release that maintains the broken segments of blasting rhythm from "De Profundis" but integrates into it an updated version of the ambient melodic Massacra-style riffing from their first effort, "The Ultimate Incantation." The influence of black metal can be seen in the more classical European melodic sense which is built from these disparate fragments of structure assembled in a macroarchitecture of tempo and narrative which articulates each piece as a view to the centrality of the whole.


1. Heading for Internal Darkness
2. The Innermost Ambience
3. Carnal
4. Fractal Light
5. Ture Names
6. Beast Raping
7. Foetus God
8. The Red Passage
9. Distant Dream
10. Black To The Blind
Length: 28:44

vader black to the blind 1998
Copyright © 1998 Pavement

Aggressive piledriver rhythms in the style of later speed metal bands and fast black metal like Sodom provide the basis for songs that alternate between the smoothly-flowing and often melodic speed rhythms which carry the weight of verses with power and the counterpoints of percussion breakwater that throw the song into a self-recursed expectant momentum. From these each song recovers with a resumption of the rhythm embedded in the syncopation of each interruption translated into smoother columnar tremelo riffs accented by introduction of notes to heighten melodic intensity or harmonic proximity. Skillful musicianship allows Vader to move through variants of the same riffs in multiple incarnations without reaching a boredom, but it is the homegrown songwriting this band popularized that enables them to consolidate disparate structures into a high-speed rhythmic congruence.

Lead guitar is the drunken skydiver of chaotic neo-noise playing which establishes the space marked by even the simple harmonics here through dynamics of counterposition which illustrate a sequence of betweens rather than finite points, causing an ambiguity to defer the normal stolidity of guitar solos in favor of an accentuation of both aggression and sensitivity. More impressive almost is the complex and seemingly divergent yet rigidly ordered rhythm guitar, where whip-wrist precision strumming layers textures of complexity and allusive pattern metaphor into an existing whirlwind of alteration, creating a technicality and recursive rhythmic power that exceeds Meshuggah and Voivod while entirely shaming stuff like Pantera.

As always vocals from this band are a staunch gutteral enunciation that is more spoken than sung to the effect of intense cadence and resulting uptake into the overall flow of each song, and drums are expectedly excellent with less emphasis on the stranger combinations of beats found on previous albums and more focus on direct and supportive precision. Tempo support is excellent, configuring itself expertly to each song's unique central pattern and the substructures which reflect that singularity throughout its length.

As a continuation of past work this album is excellent, and experimental in arrangement as it integrates stand-alone cadenced speech and abrupt breakneck structures into otherwise ripping speed-powered death metal; as a metal album it stands for a unique concept and an unmistakeable intelligence which stood out in the distinctive stylings and composition on the last two Vader epics as well.

Metal Blade

Production: Tightly fitting and broad sound with highly recognizable but not detailed tone.

Review: Moving from a rolling organic rhythm using longer duration phrases Vader break their trademark psychedelic ambient metal into shorter blasts of motion separated by broken pulses of rhythm and structural shift as seen in the last album, here changing their Slayer-style fast strumming atmospheric assault into a series of impact oriented and precise speed riffs, rippling through both melodic intervals and sheer structural broad interval motion in the style of simple grindcore or death metal.


1. Wings
2. The One Made of Dreams
3. Xeper
4. Litany
5. Cold Demons
6. The Calling
7. North
8. Forwards to Die!!!
9. A world of Hurt
10. The World Made Flesh
11. The Final Massacre
Length: 30:54

vader litany 2000 metal blade
Copyright © 2000 Metal Blade

Sliding tone centers remain within a fixed range and rely on thematics for expression in the style of "South of Heaven" from Slayer, having exhausted much of the broader motion which shifted tones through a cycle of harmony, creating instead a highly textured pattern series of resolutions to the same interval between notes. Within the texture there is an excellent study of how to balance lead playing against the flow of power chords in a style designed to use harmony to illustrate a melodic space never reaching its resolution with the surface behind it. Constant dissonance amplifies the tension inherent between the rising discovery and shuddering conclusion of each phrase.

With a developed sense of approximation that allows each gesture to hit a mean of proportion and aesthetic, this music merges the rigid and architectural extremes of metal with a pop sensibility that is immense in its focus and rhythmically engulfing to the listener. Bouncing rhythms from three generations of metal rise to staff these heavy armaments of collision against gratifying, speeding rhythm interlaced with nerves of melody. As a surviving evolution of the ideas presented on earlier albums it succeeds, and offers more complexity and direction than the previous Vader work.

vader revelations the latest work from this polish death metal band
1. Epitaph
2. The Nomad
3. Wolftribe
4. Whisper
5. When Darkness Calls
6. Torch of War
7. The Code
8. Lukewarm Race
9. Revelation Of Black Moses
Length: 33:29
Revelations (Metal Blade)
The now well-known Vader formula reappears with the embellishments and tonal progressions of hard rock/heavy metal embedded within collages of death metal riffs, their abruptness turned to a almost funklike metagroove to the changing rhythmic arrangements of each song. Where previously an urgency underscored conflicted patterns releasing to flowing, evenly falling tempo relaxations, in the most recent incarnation of this Polish death metal band the songs keep a rhythmic equilibrium through variation in two similar patterns. Melodic hook is foreshadowed and harmonized by vocal rhythms, a gruff voice punching out lyrics cadences itself to basic divisions of the rhythm of undulating, wavelike Slayer-style speed tremolo riffs. Underneath these techniques however is something with the heart of Judas Priest yet a more alienated death metal voice now brought to a state of consistency by its growing audience.

Vader Homepage
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