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Vader - Impressions in Blood - 2006 - Regain Records

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Shadow Fear
3. As Heavens Collide...
4. Hellaluyah!!! (God Is Dead)
5. Field of Heads
6. Predator
7. Warlords
8. Red Code
9. Amongs The Ruins
10. They Live!!!
11. The Book
Vader are synonymous with Polish Death Metal. They are older than Decapitated and Behemoth, better known than Trauma and Hate, and maybe even more fearsome than their nefarious namesake. ‘The Art of War’, their 2005 EP, was one of the peaks of their discography and also of all last year’s metal releases, making ‘Impressions in Blood’ a far more anticipated arrival than the lukewarm success of their last full length, ‘The Beast’, would have alone.

‘Impressions in Blood’ furthers the futuristic, warlike themes of ‘The Art of War’ by mixing in a significant amount of ambience, string synthesizers, and sound effects. These rarely merge with their traditional style, though, and are almost exclusively in a supporting role that lends some additional gravity to the album.

Peter is the only remaining original member from Vader’s earliest line-up, and his throaty shouts are as surly as ever. After the passing of legendary drummer Doc, Daray (who appeared as a session drummer on ‘The Beast’) became the group’s full time drummer, and his remarkable speed and precision maintain Vader’s high standards of brutality. Guitarists Mauser and Peter spread their riffs and solos liberally across each of the album’s nine real tracks, blending well the trademark Polish brutality of the former and the unique modularity of the latter.

But, something is absent. ‘Impressions in Blood’ has all the key components of a standout metal album and is definitely nothing Vader should be ashamed of, but it still seems incomplete. It lacks the utterly devastating pulse of ‘Litany’, though the guitar production here is some of the best they have had. It also lacks the consistent, inspired subtlety of ‘The Art of War’ that so reinvigorated their career.

That inspired edge sometimes appears, but it rarely stays around for an entire track. Vader still can write exceptional solos (see: Amongst the Ruins, Shadow Fear) and the sort of riffs that both defined Polish Death and put them atop its ranks simultaneously (see: ‘They Live!!!’, ‘The Book’). But their attention wanders, sometimes. Some of the album’s middle tracks churn out lethargically: ‘Field of Heads’ ends with a fading drum loops more than a minute long, and ‘Predator’ is an overwrought downer that sound as if they were cut to half tempo for a lark in the studio and never sped up again.

It is also, in part, the production that disappoints. While most of the album has a wonderfully harsh texture to it, Daray’s toms (which he uses often) are too obviously triggered. Death metal drummers nowadays are almost all using triggers, yes, but either the entire kit reeks of technology or none of it. The half-heavy, half-canned sound is distracting.

Vader still have it, though, and there are enough moments of prowess and steely, metal grit o prove it. Their recent interest in classical underpinnings also has been well integrated into their sound, showing that despite their essentially unchanged formula, Vader are still a developing group. The album’s closer, includes some of these influences. Mix in a Decapitated riff or two, experiments briefly with a tribal drum pattern or two, and ‘The Book’ ends up being the surprising highlight of the album. Perhaps, once this new line-up has had a little more time to gel and work out the new sound, Vader shall return triumphant. Until then, this will do.



--Etiam 08.24.06

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: VADER
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Impressions in BloodVader
2006
Etiam8/31/2006
The Art Of WarVader
2006
Eric Compton3/7/2006
The EmpireVader
2016
Eric Compton12/27/2016
Tibi Et IgniVader
2014
Eric Compton6/25/2014


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: VADER
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Welcome To The Morbid ReichVader
2011
Eric Compton11/21/2011


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: VADER
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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