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8.8/10 Roberto

VADER - The Art of War - CD - Candlelight Records - 2005

review by: Roberto Martinelli

Vader had been in a funk for the last few years. Their records were steadily getting more redundant and limp. Things looked bad, like the once rabid Polish death metal machine would be consigned to making rehashed shadows of their glorious selves for the rest of their careers.

For a lifelong Vader fan, The Art of War is a cathartic sigh of relief, as this material is the best thing that the group has put out since 2000's Litany. Yeah, five years of yearly releases.

A heavily triggered, digital drum sound is about as hit-or-miss a thing as you can get in metal. In Vaderís discography, no work has drums that sound so un-organic as those on The Art of War. But itís the single most recognizable facet to the recordingsí success. The furious, unrelenting drums are given that much harder a push over the razor-sharp edge with a sound featuring unheard-of bite and attack. It sounds "triggered," yeah (hell, even drums in metal that donít sound triggered are triggered, dontcha know), but it makes the album all that much better.

This visceral, unrelenting experience carries over from the drums and onto the rest of the bandís performance. Vader, from the outset of its brooding, misty intro track, is out with a vengeance. No shitty, mid-paced numbers that go nowhere and seem to last forever here. No third rate versions of the Vader steamroller formula. Itís all first rate and it all raises the bar for this band.

Can we resist drawing parallels to Metallicaís first output after the horrific death of one of their defining members, Cliff Burton? No, we canít. Was it original drummer Docís untimely death that lead to this output of passion and aggression, the likes the band might never have reached until now? Maybe.

Maybe itís also being on a new label after five years of steady decline on the Metal Blade label. Who knows? What is for certain is this album absolutely kills. Get it now. (8.8/10)


All related articles (interviews, live, from the vault)
Reign Forever World (issue No 3)  
More Visions and the Voice (issue No 10)  
Revelations (issue No 10)  
Blood (issue No 16)  
VADER (issue No 27)  



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