Since their inception in 1983, well over three decades later, Vader has released dozens of recordings. Now, three years after the release of their 2016 album, The Empire, they are ready to unleash their ferocious flavor of Death Metal upon the world with Thy Messenger on Friday, May 31st through Nuclear Blast Records.
While they will also be releasing a full-length album later in the year, this Thy Messenger is more than sure to enthrall fans on its own. With heavy riffs, mind-melting guitar solos, and brutal vocals, it is everything and more anyone would expect from Vader. It all starts with “Grand Deceiver,” an impactful opening with charging guitars that stand as an imposing lead in for the songs that follow. This is while the lyrics of “Litany” are quite actually a litany of violent acts and punishments. Concise and harsh, an act in cathartic, dark fantasy, the backing vocals are demonically shouted in accordance with Piotr’s statements. Thereafter, “Emptiness” begins with shredding guitar that fades out to leave behind just rhythm before a new one appears.
Toward the end comes “Despair,” which is the shortest of the tracks, but perhaps the most morally significant. The song protests and dictates the rape of mother earth and all the crimes committed against her. This is before a cover of Judas Priest’s “Steeler” closes the EP with compelling change of pace. Compared to its original counterpart, Vader’s version is heftier and lurid, sound wise lading somewhere between the two bands in the best of ways.
Despite the critique that Death Metal can be repetitive and mildly provoking, there is a certain charisma to the consistency of a band like Vader. Thy Message is a stable addition to their discography, building upon their pre-existing skill and sound, while remastering and bringing some old works forward into the now. That is why Cryptic Rock give it 4 out of 5 stars.