Vader // Welcome to the Morbid Reich
Rating: 4.0/5.0 —They’ve got the reich stuff!
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Websites: |
Release Dates: EU: 13.08.2011 | US: 09.13.2011

When one thinks of Polish death metal, the names Vader and Behemoth immediately spring to mind as the standard bearers. Both gained enormous exposure and both have been pretty consistent in output over the years. While I admit that not every Vader release has blown me away, more often than not they delivered heavy, satisfying death to the unhinged masses. 2009’s Necropolis was a one of their better albums and found them sounding hungry and hostile. Now, along comes Welcome to the Morbid Reich to steamroll it in short order. Featuring an overhauled, revamped lineup including a new guitarist and bassist, Vader seems to have a large chip on their collective shoulder and aim to prove they’re the one true lord of Pol-death. This is a WAY faster, heavier album than Necropolis, with way more blasting and pummeling. Its almost uniformly played at blistering speeds and aggressive to the point of exhaustion. In fact, its pretty much a companion piece to the new Hate Eternal album with a lot of similarities in style. There’s also some stylistic nods to countrymen Behemoth and even some throwbacks to old Deicide and Malevolent Creation. Its real nasty business from start to finish and its gives out way more of a ferocious beating than I expected.

After a decently imposing intro they come after you with “Return to the Morbid Reich” and it’s classic Vader in all its raw glory, just sped up some. Peter’s raspy shout/roar is in good form and he sounds plenty pissed off. New guitarist Spider brings a strong technical style to the fold and along with Peter they light things up with a speed drenched assault. Spider’s solos are impressive and almost neo-classical in style. You can clearly hear Behemoth in the writing here, complete with the blackened edges. From there it’s song after song of high velocity death with the brakes removed. The highlights are “Come and See My Sacrifice” (very fluid, impressive solos), “Don’t Rip The Beast’s Heart Out” (cool groove riffing and inhuman drumming). The best cut is clearly “I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul” with its enormously catchy, chunky, grooved out rumble and subdued but effective symphonics. Runner up looks to be “Black Velvet and Skulls of Steel” with a satisfyingly slow, grinding slog and a surprisingly melodic solo that could have been on a While Heaven Wept album.

Although most of Welcome is played at insanely high speed, these guys are tight as hell and technical to boot. Spider has a number of really cool solos and the riffing is universally good, gritty and crunchy. The drumming by Pawel Jaroszewicz is completely ridiculous and berserk. It’s a real shame he left the band following the recording of Welcome. Peter’s roars are effective and while he was never one of my favorite death vocalists, he brings his A game here.

Unlike the last album, the songs are longer this time, between three and five minutes. Between the longer durations and the wildly fast trashing, things can get overwhelming by the album’s back half. A little more variety in tempos might have been nice. Another slight issue is how high Peter is placed in the mix. His vocals are competing for space with the guitars and winning all too often. Other than these minor complaints, this is a big bad ass beating with a lot of wild music to absorb and little details to notice.

With this album, Vader may have reclaimed the top slot in the Polish pecking order. Welcome is a powerfully effective fusion of old school death and the technical speed of more modern bands. This is another great album that should embarass Morbid Angel as they sit in the time out corner, thinking about what they did. Finally, a reich I can support!

  • Joe Crazy

    I can’t wait to check out this one.   I was lucky enough to catch Vader on tour with Immolation last year.   And believe it or not, I actually feel Vader put on a better live performance.   Immolation was still great, however.   Much respect for both hard working bands.

  • You mistyped the album title in the info section. :)
    Nice review though.

    P.S. Something’s messed up about the release dates too.

  • You mistyped the album title in the info section. :)
    Nice review though.

    P.S. Something’s messed up about the release dates too.

  • Al Tatts

    Holy shit. Also on New Zealand iTunes. Pre-ordered for the 12th having listened to the previews (now a more satisfying 1m30 long) and it sounds brutal. Cheers for the heads up.
      Never taken that much notice of Vader through the years, but this shreds.

  • OzanCan

    A new appreciation is rising within me for DEATH METAL!!!!
    fuck yeah! m/

    • Symphonic Void

      A metalhead since 15 – and only now getting into Death Metal? Get amongst it, plenty to be enjoyed by all!

      • OzanCan

        No no no no! I have been listening to Death Metal since Metal Gods-know-how-long, it is just I was not listening to it whole alot. This album, and others with that, makes me enjoy and appreciate Death Metal again.

        Ah yeah! No one beats the DETHKLOK!!! LOL! :D

  • have been vader fan for 16 years. even met peter in poland while he was shopping for some dvd’s. there’s been always something new and unique for each album. old ones with bad quality though, this one brings more melody, some weird high voice of peter like he’s been listening to dimmu borgir and got some ideas from them. in one song he sings so fast and unnatural. but the best so far is no 5 and 12. missing mauser and doc, the band changes all the time even those who played on this album are gone now, but who cares as long as we hear peter we hear vader, cos peter is vader and vader is peter…

    my best 5 albums :
    1. the beast
    2. black to the blind
    3. impressions or revelations
    4. welcome to morbid reich
    5. reign forever world