Vader - _Necropolis_
(Nuclear Blast, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (
Conduct a straw poll among Vader fans and I'd be willing to bet good money that the majority will tell you that, discography be damned, the band peaked early with _De Profundis_. Sure, there's been plenty to get fists pumping and hearts fluttering in its wake, but that record hit the mark in more ways than its successors could begin to count. It was acerbic to the point of being downright violent, while at the same time searing its every riff on your subconscious with a proverbial branding iron of catchy hooks and infinitely memorable moments. But what's been most sorely lacking from Vader's output post _De Profundis_ is the sense of danger; that unknown quantity that had you on tenterhooks from one track to the next._Necropolis_ is no different in this regard, even if founding member Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek's decision to surround himself with an entirely new crew should rightfully have resulted in a creative overhaul of some sort. Instead, it's business as usual for Vader. The noobs, who include Decapitated's Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka, do an admirable job of holding the fort instrumentally. On "When the Sun Drowns in the Dark" they even get slightly adventurous, splashing tinges of traditional metal into what turns out to be a surprisingly atmospheric cut and easily the album's finest moment. Yet you can't help but feel sad that Vader, once casually referred to as the next Slayer, continue to appear content to play follow the leader, rather than challenging for the throne they once occupied.
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