Blood/Reign Forever World (Metal Blade)
by Tim Den
Two EPs – one old (Blood) and one new (Reign Forever World, duh) – to tide the public over until Vader’s new studio album hits next year (hopefully a better one than the last disappointment, Revelations). If the new tracks on Blood are any indication, expect more of the same breakneck speed, violence, and Slayer-esque chromatic death from these Polish gods. They don’t sound as fresh as they did on De Profundis so many years ago, but at least this time around the songs are to the point and not just a jumbled mess of riffs. “We Wait” is a groover that ranks among the band’s best, even if the string-bending verses get a little irksome after repeated listens. Some fun covers too, including the fastest “Rapid Fire” I’ve ever heard. Two live tracks – “Creatures of Light and Darkness” and “Carnal” – will scare the crap out of you (can a band really be this tight live?), while Litany b-side “Lord of Desert” strikes as quick as lightening and vanishes just as rapidly (take a hint, rest of the grind world). As the chanting crowd on the live tracks prove, Vader are all but an institution in the genre now. Here’s one more slab of testament to their staying power and ferocity.
(2828 Cochran St. PMB 302 Simi Valley, CA 93065)