Long before Nergal & Behemoth were poncing around on stages wearing funny helmets and make up, Vader were the standard bearers of Polish extreme metal. They are the constantly touring diehards of the death metal trenches and have been consistent as fuck since their first album, 1992’s ‘Ultimate Incantation’. Reliably delivering a new slab of quality aggressive metal every couple of years on top of a ton of splits & EPs the Piotr & the bands work ethic can never be questioned and they’ll be releasing another full length ‘My Empire’ in the next couple of months. In the meantime we have the four track EP ‘Iron Times’ to wrap our lugs round.
The first two songs – ‘Parabellum’ & ‘Prayer To The God Of War’ will also be featured on the new LP. ‘Parabellum’ kicks things off with exactly what you’d expect from Vader, hyper aggressive riffing (and a wicked solo), killer drumming from Reading’s own James Stewart and Piotr’s vocals sounding more savage than ever. It’s a short song at two and a half minutes and has an addictive, punky vibe to it. A great start to the EP.
‘Prayer To The God Of War’ isn’t much longer but is a typical mid paced thrashy Vader number. Catchy, memorable and a real headbanger.
‘Piesc I Stal’ Is sung entirely in Polish and is much slower with a distinct groove & cocky swagger to it. I thought it might be a cover at first and yep it’s by Panzer X originally but given the Vader treatment. Apart from translating as ‘Fist & Steel’ I have no further idea what it’s about but you can bet it’s not happy picnics & rainbows. This track shows a different side of Vader and one I’d like to hear a bit more of. I do like a bit of groove!
The EP is bottomed out with a cover of the Motorhead classic ‘Overkill’ and a cracking version it is too with James drums well up there….as they should be on this track. A fitting tribute to the greatest rock & roller that ever lived and the best band to ever grace a stage.
This EP is a worthy purchase and as a taster for the forthcoming album it works a treat and does its job handsomely. Vader have never been about the frills (thankfully) and hopefully ‘My Empire’ will be a stonker.
(9/10 Mark Eve)