Vader - The Art Of War - Candlelight Records 2006
6 Songs + 1 Video
Running Time: 14:31

From the rabid blastbeats that rip 'This Is The War' from the (likely sampled) string section intro that is 'Para Bellum', it's clear that Vader is out for blood. While Vader's most recent full-length (2004's The Beast) moved the band further into the melodic death realm, The Art Of War finds a much more streamlined attack, and Vader is the better for it. 'Lead Us!!!' recalls recent Kataklysm with its blistering attack and brimstone-hot solos, but when 'Banners On The Wind' (yet another instrumental segue?) is blown to bits by the bestial death of 'What Colour Is Your Blood?', things are back to normal. It's with 'Banners...', though, that my only complaint with The Art Of War surfaces. Even with the two instrumentals contained herein, we still only get under fifteen minutes of music. I understand this is just an EP, and a stopgap between releases at that, but c'mon now. In danger of sounding hypocritical, if 'Banners On The Wind' had hung on for longer than the forty-seven seconds it currently occupies, it might've given me a bit more time to get into the mood of the piece. As it is, it seems thrown on as filler when the space was easily available to throw on one of Vader's notoriously fantastic cover versions instead. Still, the killer riff of 'What Colour Is Your Blood?' more than makes up for my petty bitching, which no one else is likely to pay attention to in the first place. If the ferocity of Vader 2006 hasn't already knocked you down, 'Death In Silence' is sure to do the trick. A battlefield-clearing extravaganza of devastating proportions, 'Death In Silence' rages forward with guns and guitars blazing, all blastbeat and dive-bombing bass runs.

Vader's long-established pattern of releasing EPs between albums continues with this, the band's Candlelight Records debut. If the frenzied material on The Art Of War is any indication, Vader may just be preparing us for musical Armageddon when their full-length drops later this year. Sure, it's only fifteen minutes long, but maybe that's all the time it takes for Vader to kick our asses yet once more.

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