VADER has always been a resilient band, and while various guitarists and bassists have come and gone, along with the unfortunate passing of drummer Doc, this has never affected the drive that mainman Peter has had to bring the band to the next level. After losing his entire lineup due to various factors, he has recruited new members to focus on the task at hand–touring and a new album. However, on Necropolis, Peter handles all vocals, guitar and bass duties, and drums were handled by the steady hands of newcomer Paul.
The core of VADER (Peter) is still in tact, and the opening track, “Devilizer” shows that the Polish war machine is standing strong as Paul gets things going, proving the band has not gone soft or in another direction. Classic VADER material evolves with “Rise of the Undead” as the intensity picks up with tasteful blast beats, unlike the over-the-top blasts of ex-drummer Daray, reminiscent of the Black to the Blind album. Things move along quickly as most of the tracks on Necropolis are in the two-to-three minute range, with “Never Say My Name” and “Blast” delivering the catchy and crunchy riffs that VADER is known for. The album’s mid-way point, though, gets a bit sluggish. “The Seal” is an “artistic” but unnecessary filler track, as its sole purpose is to provide a break between the blasts and chaos. “Impure” is a bit too mid-paced and once again segues into another unnecessary filler track, “Summoning The Futura.” The presence of filler tracks hints that the album is not as strong as their previous material. As “We are the Horde” rears its brutal ugly head, riffs from De Profundis come to mind, and the album closes with “When The Sun Drowns in Dark”–a rather catchy track which tries to get the listener interested. Overall though, something just doesn’t gel with this album.
While one cannot pinpoint any particular thing wrong with Necropolis, something is lacking. Perhaps VADER needs to branch out and add some needed depth. The songs on the last few albums are too similar, as the solos, song structure, and riffs are almost carbon copies of their previous work. Necropolis is not their best album, but Peter and VADER are still capable of producing solid death metal. (Nuclear Blast Records)