Welcome to the Morbid Reich

1. Ultima Thule (intro)
2. Return To The Morbid Reich
3. The Black Eye
4. Come And See My Sacrifice
5. Only Hell Knows
6. I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul
7. Don’t Rip The Beast’s Heart Out
8. I Had A Dream…
9. Lord Of Thorns
10. Decapitated Saints
11. They Are Coming (intro)
12. Black Velvet And Skulls Of Steel
13. Raping The Earth (DIGI bonustrack)
14. Troops Of Tomorrow (DIGI bonustrack)

Peter (Guitars, Bass, Vocals)
Paul (Drums)
Spide (Guitars)
Hal (Bass, joined after recording)

The Ultimate Incantation (1993)
De Profundis (1995)
Black to the Blind (1997)
Litany (2000)
Revelations (2002)
The Beast (2004)
Impressions in Blood (2006)
Necropolis (2009)

Krzysztof "Siegmar" Oloś –keyboards
Harry Maat –backing vocals

Wojciech Wiesławski – production, sound engineering, mix, mastering
Sławomir Wiesławski – production, sound engineering, mix, mastering
Rafał Konopka – sound engineering assistant
Zbigniew M. Bielak – cover art, layout

Released 12/8-2011
Reviewed 6/9-2011

nuclear blast

Once Vader was the Polish war tank that invaded Europe and put their red-white flag Polish flag in every country they had conquered. In the early 00’s they were followed by a legion of war machines from Poland that all tried to do the same thing and this led inevitable to a situation where too many bands played the same kind of music and they all suffered from this. Vader, however, are still today the metal brand of Poland. If you say Polish and metal in the same sentence 9 out of ten reacts by thinking the same thing – Vader. The situation is quite different today, though. Since drummer Doc left the band due to his drug addiction problems in the era of the scene getting flooded, the band hasn’t really thundered ahead as strong as they did before. My last investment in the band came when I bought ‘Revelations’ in 2002 and I’ve been biting my time since then. Waiting for another album to blow me away. Maybe this is the one that will do that?

Vader has almost 30 years of history as a band and they’ve released nine studio albums, two live albums, two compilation albums, six EPs, four videos, six singles and twelve music videos since their debut landed in 1992. With ‘Welcome to the Morbid Reich’ they give us 12 new songs that makes up 37 minutes of music. Only two members are left from last time and one of them of course the founding member “Peter” Piotr Wiwczarek who is the only one Vader member left from the first album(s). Peter is the voice, the guitars and on this album he’s also the holder of the bass and on this album he sounds like he’s always done – like a burping frog that has succeeded to tie a knot on his tongue. His voice is dull and monotonous and it sounds quite similar to a beer-burp when he sings. The music is also quite familiar with a tank-sound completed by a screaming lead guitar on top of everything. The death machine rolls again, no doubt about it.

If we should have a look at what’s negative with the album, the most obvious that strikes me are the drums that sound flat and bland. There’s no obvious direction on them and they feel quite pointless – they stand their ground and blends with everything else, like a sandal that no one is wearing. Normally, Vader always impresses me with their drum section, but this actually feels like the biggest minus on this album. Overall I’d say the whole rhythm section is pretty dull. They lack ideas and sounds almost copied directly from the recording tapes on previous albums and then they’ve just added the leads and vocals. The leads are actually the only thing saving this album from a complete failure in my opinion. They have melodies and feels better organized and structured (which is a good thing) than the rhythm section, despite the fact that they almost sound thrown in anywhere at any time by random.

Some of the tracks on this album isn’t hiding their use of keyboards, which gets very obvious in the two intro songs Ultima Thule and They Are Coming (the intro for the last song). These intros makes my thoughts wander to Dimmu Borgir, actually, and you can judge for yourself if that’s positive or negative but it’s quite clear they use these “mood accessories” by choice to “moodify” the album. Nothing new when it comes to Vader, but this time it sounds different from earlier. The feeling I get after 37 minutes of Morbid Reich is “how the hell can’t they keep me interested at least these 37 minutes? That’s not a long album!”. I’ve played this album 10 times now and every time I do I feel more irritated and bored by it. That comes from a person that already have some Vader albums, so don’t come crawling with things like “oh, you just can’t appreciate their greatness”. I do, but I’ve already heard this before and it was better then.

Unfortunately I have to state the obvious – Vader are like most other Polish death metal bands that still tries to invade and conquer Europe for their own personal third Reich. They have reached their limit. Quite obviously there isn’t anything more we can get from the death machine – we’ve heard this album before already in ‘Litany’ and ‘Revelations’ and all the albums they’ve released between them and this. They’ve had the same sound, same structure, same melodies and more or less same songs and it seems Vader can’t develop any further. What has come after and still comes are bonus for those who liked it, and not so fun for the people that like evolvement.


Label: Nuclear Blast
Three similar bands: Ektomorf/Dies Irae/Behemot
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Recensent: Caj Källmalm
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