Damn. 31 years in the game still showing how it’s done. Nine full lengths and a slew of EPs and compilations, the musical panzer tank from Olsztyn, Poland known as Vader are back with their tenth album, Tibi Et Igni.

Vader is one of the pioneers of successfully blending genres into the death metal world. As far as I’m concerned they were one of the originators that laid the foundation of what would become the “blackened death” sound. While their fellow countrymen in Behemoth would go onto experiment and further develop that sound, it was Vader who put down the core. Their debut record, The Ultimate Incantation, is still a bench mark record for genre it would spawn. Often compared to the aforementioned, Behemoth, who were creating similar sounding material during the middle portion of the career and then later go their own path, it has been Vader who has decided to stay the course and not chance breaking the mold. While Behemoth has had amazing success with their experimentation, Vader’s decision to keep it simple has paid off equally in my opinion. While there are Vader albums I like more than others, there really isn’t a bad disc out there by the band. The unbroken mold has worked and with no hidden surprises, each album almost sounds like an extension of the last one. I, for one, appreciate that.

I’m not sure if Piotr Wiwczarek really cares about what his peers are doing but for the first time in many, many years he has decided to change it up a little with his writing. Maybe he has found time to let his revolving door of members influence him. Only he knows the answer. For Tibi Et Igni, Peter (as he likes to be called) has gone back to the early roots of Vader when they were predominantly a thrash metal band. Don’t get me wrong, this album is still very much a Vader record you’d expect but the riffage has a lot of 80’s era James Hetfield to them than any previous material to date. There are still a megaton amount of blastbeats but the traditional triplet and two step take center stage for most of the album. As if to prove he hasn’t lost all touch with reality, the Vader signature thrash/black/death hybrid style of writing is displayed in all its glory in songs like Worms Of Eden and The Eye Of The Abyss. Lyrically the album is still stuffed to the brim with Lovecraftian tales of horror, anti-religion, war and lots of RIGHT! So don’t get your panties in a bunch that this is some grave departure from what has made them successful.

Even with the noticeable change in writing style, this is still another great showing by Piotr and his band. Clearly after three decades in the game, the band is probably seeing their day’s number. It’s nice to see some of the old dogs still crank out top notch material even if they are entering their swansong albums.