If there is one band you can always rely on in the death metal genre, it is VADER. The band have churned out album after album with no signs of slowing down and each one are of an impressive and consistent standard. Their 2016 release THE EMPIRE is no different.
When you hear cracking songs like TEMPEST, IRON REIGN, NO GRAVITYand SEND ME BACK TO HELL, I feel like I am treading the same ground but enjoying the hell out of it all the same. Lets face it, when we buy an album from VADER we expect heavy crushing (and catchy) riffs, just enough blast beats to sound powerful and songs that do not go over that specific line where everything becomes tedious. Their last album TIBI ET IGNI followed that guide lines and so did the five releases before that. THE EMPIRE is essentially more of the same but in a charming way that should not be possible for such an evil sounding troupe.
What makes this album a real beauty is the fact that it has been superbly produced. Much like their previous records, THE EMPIRE has a nice powerful yet crystal clear sound that a lot of metal bands tend to lack. Sure, the sound is a little sterile in places but it is far from the distorted mess that most death metal bands come equipped with. There is that and also the fact that the record is a short thirty three minutes long. By definition, THE EMPIRE is short and sweet. It throws all its punches, connects with every single one of them and is home in enough time to sacrifice a lamb to our LORD SATAN after tea and biscuits.
If someone was to ask me if this album was any good, I would shrug my shoulders and say, “It’s VADER…”. These guys have got to a point where (much like SAXON) I know when I purchase one of their records, I can trust them to pop out a delightful vicious short burst of death metal and they sure as hell have not disappointed. There is no questioning it, this is a great album. It sounds great, delivers exactly what is expected of it and sounds excellent in the process. VADER fans should happily accept this with open arms or the evil one will claim your soul!