It has been 18 years since I bought a Vader album and nearly as long since I have seen them live. The first thing that’s clearly apparent as I listen to this five track EP, they have lost none of their venom. Recorded in under a week in February, it consists of three new songs, a Judas Priest cover and the title track from a 20-year-old album, it’s all over in under 15 minutes. But what a 15 minutes.

Opening up with new song “Grand Deceiver”, they quickly let you know what you’re in for with this rapid and aggressive song that to me already sounds exactly as I expect them to.

The familiarity of the slower tempoed vocals of “Litany” over the manic blasting drums and constantly changing guitar riffs have the song fit right in with the newer material sans effort and even the leads sound airy and light compared to the heaviness they are played over.

Wasting absolutely not time getting the lead started on “Emptiness” before settling down to a steady pace where Piotr’s vocals roar in over the choppy rhythm of the guitars and rolling drums, as he and Spider trade off more leads.

It’s probably taken me longer to write the sentence about “Despair” than the song itself lasts, as it just rushes along at high speed from beginning to end with no regard for anything that gets in its way.

Slowing everything down profusely in order to give us “Steeler”, they still manage to have James kicking the living hell out of his bass drum as the distinct twin guitar sound, albeit down tuned drastically, of Tipton and Downing assaults your ears, while Piotr doesn’t even attempt to hit the notes Halford is famous for. And to be honest it’s definitely better that way.

As a taster for the new album that’s to be released later this year, this EP is right on the mark and does nothing bar whet your appetite for more.

(7/10 Marco Gaminara)