Vader - Tibi Et Igni - (9/10)
Published on May 28, 2014
Death metal, the metal of death,
The metal that wants you to die!!
I’m sure numerous reviews of Vader’s tenth album, Tibi Et Igni (Latin translation: “For You And Fire”),1 will bring out the tired comparison that the band are like Motörhead and AC/DC in their reliability and refusal to deviate from their basic sound. Yet such comparison sells Vader well short, that of fellow death metal tour de force Cannibal Corpse seems far more apt, given both bands’ have delivered records of a far higher, consistent quality of album across their carriers, rather than churning out largely faceless records kept afloat by one or two indispensible opening tracks. Still, the point remains that Vader are a reliable pillar of the death metal scene, and one can always expect the best from them, but I doubt any could have foreseen the absolutely destructive onslaught that is Tibi Et Igni.
Everybody looks good in sunglasses.
Tibi Et Igni sees Vader practicing the death metal genre in its purest form: taking the most extreme of thrash metal and pushing it beyond its limit. There’s a definite Slayer vibe to the album, in the vocal patterns and tonality of the riffs and dive-bomb heavy, solo barrages – most notable in, opening track, “Go To Hell.” Such a play to tradition is refreshingly welcome in a modern scene overrun by (variably) hardcore influences; technical one-up-manship; and seemingly seeking to downtune itself out of existence. Yet Vader put their own refining touch on things through subtle (by death metal standards at least) hints of melody in the guitar playing and a centralized, driving groove, reminiscent of (but far outdoing) later Deicide.
So come on… jump in the fi-uh!
Tons of praise was deservedly heaped on Tibi Et Igni’s precursor, 2011’s Welcome To The Morbid Reich, with many citing it as their best work in over a decade – and it was if we’re sticking to full-length albums, thereby discounting 2005’s, ridiculously awesome The Art Of War EP – but Tibi Et Igni blows it clear out of the water. Every single song on the record just absolutely rips, bestowing the album with an irresistible momentum, with such highlights as they can be called coming in the form of the groove-heavy “Hexenkessel,” the aforementioned “Go To Hell” and the hammering “The Eye Of The Abyss.”
Tibi Et Igni is Vader at their most focused and refined, in similar fashion and to similar success as Kataklysm’s Waiting For The End To Come – a comparison especially evident on the monumentally crushing and appropriately-named closing track, “The End.” Vader have by no means reinvented their sound, but there is, simply put, just more of it. More of everything. The guitars are fiercer, more biting, more biting and more melodic; the bass and drums sound fuller and pound harder than ever before; and the vocals cut through everything to brilliant, gruff effect – this collection of songs being far more retainable than any Vader have put forth before.
Tibi Et Igni is an absolute masterclass in everything that is great about old-school death metal, and a severe reminder that its blueprint is by no means exhausted, that rightly stands alongside albums like De Profundis2 and Litany as an example of Vader’s finest work.
For fans of:
Slayer, Kataklysm, Deicide
If you like Tibi Et Igni you might also like:
1 Initially I read the translation as being, “For You (and only you): Fire,” which seems way more badass, but oh well.
2 A notable earlier flirtation with Latin.