Review of Vader's "Welcome to the Morbid Reich"
Released August, 2011, "Welcome to the Morbid Reich" is the ninth album released by Vader, a Polish Death Metal band. Nuclear Blast, an independent record label, released it in six parts, two songs at a time. It was welcomed by mostly favorable reviews from the Death Metal community and even reached spot 6 on the Polish charts. As far as Death Metal goes, the album was well received; but is it recommended for normal metalheads, or even casual metal listeners? Read my review below.
1. Ultima Thule :48
2. Return to the Morbid Reich 3:26
3. The Black Eye 4:12
4. Come and See My Sacrifice 4:44
5. Only Hell Knows 2:13
6. I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul 4:50
7. Don't Rip the Beast's Heart Out 3:58
8. I Had A Dream... 3:02
9. Lord of Thorns 2:38
10. Decapitated Saints 2:41
11. They're Coming... 1:46
12. Black Velvet and Skulls of Steel 3:19
This is my very first Death Metal album both to be listened to and to be reviewed, and I must say, it is growing on me. I didn't like Slayer's "Reign in Blood" when I listened to it at about 12 years old, but really got into it a few years after that when my tastes expanded. Such is the case with this album; I lamented its deep growling vocals and seemingly random thrashing riffs and pounding drums. I mean, how is that music? But the more I listened, the more I was able to identify the patterns of each song, the more I could tolerate the guttural sounds from the singer, the more I was able to distinguish each song from the next. It was getting better over time.
It starts off with Ultima Thule, a short symphonic instrumental to kick off the real setlist, starting with Return to the Reich. Whether or not Vader has been or taken their listeners to said Reich is unknown to me (being a first time Reich visitor, haha!) but it still is quite the trip. You get a proper taste of what is to come for the whole album here, the singer sings, or, as I used to say, growls the graphic and disturbing lyrics while guitars thrash and drums thunder. Almost as if these guys were influenced by Slayer, eh? The Black Eye is more of the same as the first song, but the last half of the song has some impressive arrangements riff-wise.
Come and See My Sacrifice details more blood and gore, but lacks too much of an identity compared the the songs preceding and following it. Only Hell Knows features a demented duet between the lead singer and a guest singer, but the guest sings a higher-pitched screaming sort of style, and the contrast works. My favorite on the whole album is I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul (pretty damn metal) due to its headbanging-inducing riff and eerie symphony essence in some of the parts. Check out the vid below for proof!
He laughs at the tears goin' down your cheek!!!!
As seen on the song, Don't Rip the Beast's Heart Out, the solos on this album resemble Megadeth's, and they're just as fast, but accompanied by heavier music. I Had A Dream details a nice little trip in another realm, full of death, disease, and destruction. Not much new, in that sense. Each at less than 3 minutes, Lord of Thorns and Decapitated Saints brag the speed and musicianship of Vader. The vocals are indecipherable at such a speed so I'm not able to remark on the lyrical content, but I'm betting it is obscene. The second instrumental, They're Coming, summons an apprehensive and anticipatory feeling for the song that will conclude the album, Black Velvet and Skulls of Steel. The conclusion is not as fast as previous songs (that would be humanly impossible) but instead relies more on the heavy element and the fades.
As a Death Metal newbie, perhaps I'm still trying to break through the cynical head-shaking phase I'm going through and try to enjoy the music. A difficult thing to do when some of the songs sound as if they lack identity, not only from other songs, but from other artists. The vocals can be unpleasant, but I suppose you can get used to anything. The bass-drums seem to be controlled by a professional track runner who has been hired to move his legs as fact as he can with no order or method to the madness. On the other hand, the riffs can get your head banging and the lyrics (if you can identify them) will impress any passing slayer fans who happen to hear them.