Tuesday, 8 July 2014

#351 Vader - Tibi Et Igni

There's never been a bad Vader album - and I somewhat doubt there ever will be. Indeed, it's not overly adventurous to say that Vader, while shifting stylistically a little, like ripples on a death metal ocean, are one of the most consistent bands within the genre. They have, over several decades, delivered solid record after solid record, relentlessly. Some may be jewels in their crown and feathers in their caps, others are simply solid, but I reassert myself when I say that none of them have been bad. On this basis - as I expect most Vader fans did - I approached their latest record, Tibi Et Igni with plenty of confidence, and, not-surprisingly, it was a damn good record.

As I've laid out in the introductory paragraph, it's very safe to say that Vader are a band who can be relied upon to deliver. If they were a company, it would be a wise one to buy shares in. Tibi Et Igni takes mere seconds to demonstrate why. It is a consistent and solidly written continuation of the style which the band have mastered over the years; a style which is almost unmistakable. Ferocious drumming propels explosive and memorable - at times catchy - guitar work, with riffs which pack an enormously dense payload of energy - one which is unleashed very readily, and takes a relatively short time to be committed to memory. When I first listened to Vader, it took me a very long time to memorise any of their songs - nowadays, many of the tracks inhere within memory after a single listen, especially on the bands last few records, which are well crafted indeed, and have stepped up a level when it comes to  making death metal which is infectiously memorable. Tibi Et Igni certainly seems to have this property more than some of their other works. As with most of the bands previous records, the songs are typically short sharp shocks, but are musically very busy; the band don't make walls of noise, as some bands do, instead, at almost every moment in this album your ears are met with the fury of music which is doing a lot. Vader are an extremely dynamic death metal band, and their thrash-influenced sharpness redoubles it - an influence which is in full flow on this record.

There are Vader albums which are more frantic and intense than Tibi Et Igni, but few have had such a capacity to let the riffs truly come out to breathe. The music is compact and constantly engaging, but it doesn't go too far and become squashed, with songs trying to cram more content into themselves than they should have. There's nothing wrong with letting a riff carry on for a little while, and Vader know it. The tracks, from beginning to end, are well paced, and above all, well considered. There is seldom filler on Vader albums, and this one is no exception. There aren't any tracks kicking around on Tibi Et Igni which feel like they were put there for the hell of it -  everything slots into place very nicely. In the bigger picture, Tibi Et Igni measures-up very nicely against what came before. Consistent, of course, but not stagnant. The band always seem to have exciting records up their sleeves, despite having had a very consistent sound for a long time now. While consistent, the music can safely said to develop between records; Tibi Et Igni is what I'd consider to be quite a melodic Vader record, with a very prevalent use of epic leads, vast-sounding riffs, and the occasional atmospheric intro or touch of synth here and there to garnish the album. bedecking it in a grandiose cloak which, in my case, very much served to draw me in and be enveloped by it.

Once again, on the mountain of death metal, Vader seem to have reasserted that they are standing somewhere near the top - and have been for some time now. Tibi Et Igni is every bit as solid as I expected it to be - it is the sort of record which will dominate my listening for a few weeks, but after that, it won't fade away in the way that some records do; it's not an album with a finite "hype", it is, instead, an album which is legitimately good. Very good.

This is a 9/10.

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