Vader - _Reign Forever World_
(Metal Blade, 2001)
by: Matthias Noll (
Vader's follow-up to the blistering _Litany_ [CoC #47] hits the stores a lot faster than expected. It's a beefed up EP with a playing time of just over 30 minutes -- about as long as their normal albums, but fortunately sold for a lower price and therefore more quantity for money than usual. What we get is three new songs, three covers, two live tracks and the two bonus tracks from the Japanese version of _Litany_, one of which is a short intro-type instrumental. All three new tunes are very convincing, offering some more variety than the heads down, blasting from start to finish approach used on _Litany_. The amount of breaks and tempo changes has increased considerably while still remaining in the typical 1986 Slayer-on-steroids vein. When it comes to cover versions there aren't many bands in the death metal genre that I consider less interesting than our Polish friends. What Vader usually do is speed things up slightly, present sometimes sloppy-sounding reproductions of the original riffing in the guitar department and basically rely on the strength of the original material beefed up by their tremendous drummer Doc. This, in my opinion, only works occasionally and "Total Desater" (Destruction) and "Freezing Moon" (Mayhem) -- the latter with some vocal effects similar to the recording on _De Mysteriis dom Sathanas_ -- are forgettable. "Rapid Fire" is quite OK, mainly because of greater differences between Vader's version and the Judas Priest original. The two live tracks are good, again with a highly impressive drum barrage on "Carnal". The bonus material from _Litany_, however, isn't really spectacular and, if included on the original album, would have added nothing to it. Too bad that the band has not worked with engineer Adam Toczko this time around and the sound, especially the drums, is nowhere as devastating as on _Litany_. Overall this is a mixed bag and only the good three new songs prevent _Reign Forever World_ from being superfluous.
(article published 3/13/2001)
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