Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 Days of Christmetal: Welcome to the Morbid Reich - Vader - 2011

The Metal Advisor got it right again. Following his review from early December I grabbed Welcome to the Morbid Reich, my proper introduction to the music of Vader. And what a place to start. Purely coincidentally, I had Morbid Angel's debut, Altars of Madness, in my listening stack the same day Welcome to the Morbid Reich arrived and was terribly pleased to hear how this loosely Lovecraftian strain of death metal has progressed and deepened since that '89 record while still staying true to the roots of the sound (and it's noteworthy to me that both bands called Earache Records home during their beginnings).

The rhythms on Welcome to the Morbid Reich, while brutal and driven, are remarkable in their hookiness. With guitar so heavy yet somehow so deft ...Morbid Reich is at once devastating and invigorating and all the while absolutely cinematic. I want to compare the band to Immolation (if for no other reason than The Metal Advisor's responsibility for my introduction to them, too) in that both share an evil intensity but the intangible element of the signature sound differs so. Whereas Immolation (who, by the way, I now revere) generate an almost impenetrable, undead coldness, Welcome to the Morbid Reich is a warmer, enveloping evil and an experience much more easily digested on the very first listens. There's an encompassing fullness to the rhythm section while the guitars positively crackle as if in flames. The vocals, a deathly growl, are easily understood and Vader's crushing lyrical content is communicated effectively.

Yes, I like Illud Divinum Insanus and I won't backpedal. I won't pretend, though, that Welcome to the Morbid Reich isn't a hundred times better, even if judged solely on its high point of high points, "Come and See My Sacrifice." I'm dying to dig into Vader's backcatalogue and, even now, feel more than a little yearning for those days twenty years ago when we had Altars of Madness, Left Hand Path and the band (or at least the man) responsible for Welcome to the Morbid Reich all churning out exciting new metal of this caliber. Kudos to Vader for keeping the banner not only upright, but flying higher than those they've been marching alongside for the last two decades.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome write up. Even now, this record is still daily listening. It's, dare I say it, perfect.