EP Review: Vader – Thy Messenger

With another LP in the works for release later this year, death metal workhorses Vader have returned with another pre-album EP, Thy Messenger, to get the rabid headbanging masses salivating. It’s only a short one, with 3 new songs (each 3 minutes or less) as well as a re-recording and a cover, but it’s nonetheless a good 13 minute mosh to get you going.

Opening rager “Grand Deceiver” sets the tone. It’s a relentless blast of classic Vader. Catchy riffs, pounding drums and frontman Piotr Wiwczarek’s distinctive vocals, all at a blistering pace. The re-recording of “Litany” is a nice addition. The music is largely unchanged and the song sounds better with the more balanced production than the original – though not comprising the punch of the mix.

“Emptiness” brings the pace down to stomping mid-tempo yet keep a the head banging with it’s old-skool metal flavour. The solos are the showcase with many shredding moments from Wiwczarek and Marek “Spider” Pajak. The speed is ramped up again in the short, sharp “Despair” before the closing cover of the classic Judas Priest tune “Steeler”. Vader have a large back catalogue of killer covers and “Steeler” is no different. It’s a pretty true cover, only downtuned and a little faster. The throaty vocals and more frantic double-kick drumming work well with the old-skool riffing, making for an energetic and fun end to the EP.

Vader’s latest EP Thy Messenger is another cool pre-LP release from the death metal legends. There’s nothing really new here but it doesn’t matter when you’re destroying your living room for 13 minutes. It’s been a few years since the band’s last album, and with the next one on the horizon, Thy Messenger is just the snack to keep rabid fans going as they hunger for Vader’s next course.

Thy Messenger is available now via Nuclear Blast

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