Vader has more albums than I have old socks. They’re an institution in Polish death metal and they pretty much put their homeland on the map of extreme metal (Behemoth helped a little too). Tibi Et Igni is their twelfth opus of raging death metal and much like 2011s Welcome to the Morbid Reich, it’s a fast, furious and largely unhinged affair written by old time death metal purists, for old time death metal purists while also mixing in copious thrash influences as well. This yields a sound somewhere between Blessed Are the Sick era Morbid Angel and the early works of Malevolent Creation and they take pains to keep things trve, uncomplicated and catchy. Even though they have a revamped lineup (as they seem to have on every album), they keep the classic Vader sound intact, though things are faster and more frenzied this time out. With quite a run of consistently ass kicking albums, they’re one of the few death acts that still feels fun and refreshing, despite their throwback caveman style.
Opener “Go to Hell” certainly doesn’t offer an original title, and it forces you to sit through almost two minutes of cheesy symphonic bombast before things finally erupt into thrashing rage. It’s worth the wait though because it’s so well done and there’s a big Morbid Angel vibe to the razor sharp riffing. It feels like an old friend is back in town and that friend got real heavy!
“Where Angels Weep” is faster and more insane with a huge Florida death metal sound and loads of Deicide worship. The riffs slay and flay and make it very entertaining as it veers toward almost comical extremity. The big standout is “Triumph of Death,” which is way more like an 80s thrash tune loaded with delightfully crunchy riffing and a fist in the air atmosphere. The chorus is simple and rousing and you’ll need to hit replay before it finishes.
Other chestnuts include the slightly Amon Amarth-y battle romp on “Hexenkessel,” the large scale pomp and grandeur of “The Eye of the Abyss,” and the ginormous riffing and creepy vibe throughout “The End.” Each has a unique feel and though the songs are all quintessential Vader, they have a fair amount of individual identity.
At a lean and mean 42 minutes, Vader delivers a concise beatdown then runs off into the night leaving you to pick up the shattered pieces of your face and buttocks. A few of the songs aren’t as sharp as their dark brethren (‘Worms of Eden,” “Armada on Fire”), but none are bad or a waste of time.
Though band founder Peter is a death metal legend, I’ve never loved his vocals. He never fit my definition of what a death metal vocalist should sound like and his gruff shouting always felt too light for the music. He sounded much better on the last album though, and here he does some of his best work, sounding like David Vincent on many of the songs. He and returning guitarist Spider host a seminar on how to mass produce killer old school death and thrash riffs and they nicely balance between death and black metal concepts as they seek to tear your face off. The solos are wild fun and often surprisingly subtle, in a frantic, hyperkinetic way.
While the overall quality of Tibi Et Igni may be less than that of Welcome to the Morbid Reich, it’s still a raucous, ramshackle dose of death metal lunacy and it’s surely an entertainingly old school romp through brutal pastures (of the past). Hey, it’s a fucking Vader album, so you know exactly what you’re in for: a lead pipe lobotomy by a crew of drunken gorillas. And you thought Ivan Putsky was the Polish Hammer!