Vaderís new era continues with XXV, a double CD album that sees the Polish juggernaut revisiting its past with 25 tracks from its complete discography (with original drummer Doc), all re-recorded with the bandís current line-up.
Since The Art of War EP, Vader has embraced a synthetically brutal sound. Luckily, itís worked for them, and this in turn makes XXV relevant. The songs arenít necessarily better, but they sound bigger, tighter, and faster, albeit the tightnessí authenticity (like all the material since The Art of War) could be slightly suspect.
As far as enjoyment goes, though, any suspicions are irrelevent, as XXV is a wonderful testament to this essential bandís ability to still sound fresh and energetic after something like 20 years in the scene, all the while revisiting some of its most essential songs.
The only major alarm is how bad the band gays it up on a handful of tracks by including cheesy mood keyboards, which is a major shock for one of the most square-shouldered, no-frills death metal kill machines in history. This albumís version of "Carnal" contains probably the most laughable keys, but it still manages to rip once those damned things subside. What was Vader thinking on that one? Still, the band manages to overcome that blunder to put out an album that will not only bring much enjoyment, but also inspire you to revisit the original, essential recordings. (8.9/10)
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