Tuesday, 13 March 2012

VADER - The Ultimate Incantation (1992)

01  Creation (Intro)
02  Dark Age
03  Vicious Circle
04  The Crucified Ones
05  The Final Massacre
06  Testimony
07  Reign Carrions
08  Chaos
09  One Step To Salvation
10  Demons Wind
11  Decapitated Saints
12  Breath Of Centuries

Vader is a Polish death metal band from Olsztyn, formed in 1983. According to Piotr Wiwczarek, the band's founding singer and guitar player, the band's name was inspired by Darth Vader from the Star Wars film series. Lyrical themes include stories by H. P. Lovecraft, WWII, horror and anti-religious messages. According to Billboard magazine, as of 2003 Vader has sold over 500,000 releases worldwide. They were the first Polish band to peek out from behind the Iron Curtain and managed to get draw a deal with Earache into Poland with their demo "Morbid Reich". To this day, this demo is one of the best stelling tapes in the Death Metal business.

Now, if in the canon of death metal there can be any bands that I would characterize as objectively talented and consistent, Vader would certainly be among that select handful. It's entirely possible not to like Vader; some collections of sounds just don't work for certain people. It happens. But my brain almost turns inside out at the very idea of anyone trying to claim Vader is actually a bad or even mediocre band. Vader's history has been a procession of once raw and now progressively more and more refined talent, and there's nary a dip to be found anywhere in the band's lengthy catalog of releases. And amidst that entire career, Vader has never been notable for merely doing standard death metal very well, but for having a sound that is completely, unmistakably their own. It's beyond replication or even reasonable imitation, yet possesses no gimmicks or unnecessary elements. They're the sort of band that just about everyone in metal should be modeling themselves after. The Ultimate Incantation is marred only by a low-tech production that tends to mute some of the band's thrashy ferocity.

Tracks such as Dark Age, The Crucified Ones, Final Massacre and Breath of Centuries are right up there with the bands best work. Basically, if you appreciate good, tight death metal without bells and whistles, then there's absolutely no doubt that The Ultimate Incantation will get you banging your head...

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