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VADER Thy Messenger EP

By Nathan Dufour, Great White North
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 @ 1:20 PM


- advertisement -
VADER
Thy Messenger
EP
2019, Nuclear Blast




The concept of releasing an EP in 2019 is, at once, vexing and heartwarming. At the click of a button, the modern consumer can access full albums, curate their own playlists, and generally find all they want and more within a given artist’s discography. Streaming services will randomize everything for you based on your listening habits. The EP, as a stop-gap measure between full length efforts, seems a throwback to the physical realm. And that is pretty sweet in and of itself, but what kind of message are VADER peddling with their throwback package in Thy Messenger?

Precision and reliability are adjectives that readily spring to mind when thinking about VADER - their impressive catalogue of releases proves them to be one of the best and most consistent acts in Death Metal. The 2016 release of The Empire showed the band in top form (even if the cover art reminded me of Game of Thrones meets Skeletor), but in the instant world, 3 years is forever. So, we have Thy Messenger. What I hear here is, in a word, confusion.

Clocking in at under 14 minutes, Thy Messenger reminds me a lot, sonically, of VADER’s pinnacle moment, 2000s Litany. The opening track smacks of sound of that time, with almost buzz saw tones and bright, popping drums all over the place, Peter’s welcome rasp in fine form. The cover (isn't it?) of their own material in a faithful rendition of the track “Litany” is well polished and fun but ultimately seems a little reaching. “Emptiness” is one of the most infectious tracks VADER has made, mid-paced and screaming Trad Metal which is novel for an act so entrenched in melting faces. That main riff is just delicious. And that solo, try not to air guitar to it. I was expecting “Despair” to be an instrumental track based on its length, but here it is melting faces. Quick, to the point, and merciless - exactly how I like my VADER. I won’t even sully the PRIEST cover with trying to explain it in words, just press play.

So, back to the bit about confusion. Why isn't this formula, if it can be called that, made into a full length album? They Messenger is so enjoyable, so fun, so vital, that it could easily be twice as long and I wouldn’t be tired of it. Maybe the EP isn’t such a mystery, maybe it does still whet the appetite.

3.0 Out Of 5.0


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