Surrounded by bands like Behemoth and Decapitated, Vader have a fair share of competition not only in the death metal community, but in the Polish DM scene, as well. But it can safely be said that Vader take the cake for being Poland's top exports. Albums like the band's ninth full-length effort from the studio, 2011's "Welcome To The Morbid Reich," are further, irrefutable bits of proof of this fact. They are a shining example of death metal consistency, releasing album after killer, eminently memorable album. And "Welcome...," which is chockablock full of excellent riffs, meticulous, serpentine guitar leads, and ripping solos (and not to mention impeccable drumming), is, of course, no different.
Vader do explore a symphonic angle like they have in the past on such releases as 2006's "Impressions In Blood." For example, consider the opening "Ultima Thule," and the intro to "I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul." Both of which open with some atmospheric, symphonic-sounding elements before grooving into either a solid, thrashy riff or a big, booming, thundering rhythm. The former track is anchored by punishing, grinding drum blasts while the guitarists rip out technically-proficient solos; and the latter features catchy, chug and churn riffing, deft thrash beats, and catchy, barked vocals. Also check out "They Are Coming," an ominous, chilling, Dimmu Borgir-worthy, black metal-lite late-album interlude track.
For the most part, however, "Welcome..." is a very brutal album through and through. "The Black Eye" begins as a sprinting, blistering death-thrasher with thunderous drumming and a pair of shredding-yet-ripping guitar solos before settling down into a slow, groove-oriented breakdown with more involved, melodic, and technical soloing. "Come And See My Sacrifice" is a catchy and thunderous number backed by a fast tempo change that rockets the song into a positively ferocious bit of blasting. Some staccato guitar hooks and extensive soloing are also included, here, later on. And later, "Only Hell Knows" (which brings to mind Devildriver) and "Decapitated Saints" are two ripping and blistering death-thrashers with smoking, Slayer-like buzzsaw guitar leads, thunderous drums, and ripping melodic solos.
And elsewhere, "Don't Rip The Beast's Heart Out" and "Lord Of Thorns" are both driven by fiery, busy thrash riffing, earth-quaking death-grind blasts, really catchy and memorable choruses, and more positively air-guitar-able soloing. And rounding out the set, "I Had A Dream" is highlighted by some truly mind-boggling drumming; and "Black Velvet And Skulls Of Steel" is a concertedly restrained and mid-tempo set closer with a solid, chug and churning main riff.
While this reviewer will not go as far as to say that "Welcome To The Morbid Reich" is Vader's ultimate masterwork; I do have no qualms about saying that it IS a masterpiece, plain and simple, and one that has plenty of substance and staying power to prove that, no matter how many years of existence the band has to its name, and no matter how many lineup changes they have undergone, they are still one of the world's most premier extreme metal acts.