To coincide with their 25th year as a band, VADER decided to treat us with re-recordings of their best material spanning their entire discography. While some may say that re-recording tracks loses some of the magic and original distinct sound, one can also say that this two-disc set is refreshing. Old tracks are updated with excellent production, and reworked with the current lineup. When Doc (RIP) left the band, huge shoes needed to be filled, and skeptics wondered if Daray could pull off **Doc’**s parts, who alone defined and made VADER a unique act. Fear not, as Daray not only pulls off Doc’s parts, but adds his own touch to the old material.
Like many recent VADER releases, XXV starts off with an intro, which quickly crescendos and blasts our souls with what’s to come. The re-recorded old tracks hold up very well to current standards - crisp production now allows the listener to appreciate every riff, bass line, and drums as it should have sounded years ago. The only drawback for this fine two-disc album is that some of the newer songs from Litany, Revelations and even The Beast simply did not need to be re-recorded. The newer songs sounded fine on their respective albums, and the re-recorded versions of songs from those albums do not add much, if anything. A few songs, such as “Silent Empire” and “Carnal” did not necessarily need newly added keyboard parts, as they sounded great before. Aside from these minor issues, this is an excellent release for both old and newer VADER fans alike. Old fans get to hear classic songs with clean, polished production, and newer fans get a taste of old songs they probably never would have heard before. Re-recorded songs off Black to the Blind are refreshing to hear, especially since the original had razor thin production.
A few other nice touches included on this release are the guest appearances from the DEAD INFECTION guys helping out on TERRORIZER’s classic “Fear of Napalm,” and Seth from SEVERE TORTURE providing vocals on “Reborn in Flames.” One last bonus for this release is the previously unreleased tracks “Wyrocznia” and “Tyrani Piekiel.” In this era where file sharing and downloading are the norm, this album is definitely a worthy purchase to add to your collection. (Regain Records)