Vader - The Art Of War - 2006 - Candlelight Records
1. Para Bellum 2. This Is The War 3. Lead Us!!! 4. Banners On The Wind 5. What Colour Is Your Blood? 6. Death In Silence 7. This Is The War (Video)
Maybe I've just never given Vader a fair shake. The band is highly regarded within the metal community, and really a leading pioneer for the death metal crusade. The group is easily the sole reason why bands like Decapitated and Hate have emerged from behind the Iron Curtain in Poland. Vader has been leading the way since 1986, and twenty years later the brutal carnage continues as the band reach legendary status in many circles. You really have to respect a band that works this hard, continually honing their craft and reaching near perfection in both sound and visual arenas. With the group playing over 200 shows each year and a healthy selection of awe inspiring, cutting edge death metal slabs, Vader have achieved what other acts within this genre can never ascend to. Vader is simply a growing beast that will one day be THE icon for death metal, even surpassing the milestones and groundwork laid by legendary pioneers like Morbid Angel, Deicide, and Cannibal Corpse.
Following up on the massive 2004 release "The Beast", and continuing the pattern of releasing EPs and MCDs, comes the band's newest set of material via the '06 EP "The Art Of War". These Polish legends have bloodied the boards once again with an absolutely astonishing display of raw metal power, this time cutting through four slabs of bone rattling death thrash, two instumental/ambient pieces, and a rather suprising video track of "This Is The War". Hate has never felt this good.
This EP is probably one of the best recordings I have personally ever heard, with the production completely over the top and almost mechanical in it's delivery. All of the production was handled by the Wieslawscy Brothers and they allow Vader the perfect canvas to lay down a thunderous sound with the four songs here. The double bass is extremely well done (triggered or not), really going beyond the simple "clicking" sound of older production. On drums this go around is new skinsman Daray, replacing "Doc", who passed away shortly after parting ways with Vader in 2005. The artwork is handled by the famous Arek Jurcan and interesting enough the video work is handled by Jurcan as well.
Bottom Line - Possibly the best produced death metal material ever found on CD. "The Art Of War" is absolutely a smashing machine! Look for Vader on tour in 2006 with the likes of Aborted, Cryptopsy, and Grave. Good God, what a package! A new full length will make it's way to headsets by 2007.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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