The eighth full-length studio album by the legendary Polish Death Metal band.
“Necropolis” features another revamped line-up and a loose concept that ties the whole album together. Vader has never been a band with steady members, but since the band is largely the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Peter Wiwczarek, the constant revolving door of musicians never affected the band’s intense brand of Death Metal. “Necropolis” broadens the band’s core sound with attempts made at ambient sound pieces alongside the standard aggressive onslaught. Even with a few moments of broad ambiance, there is still an emphasis on fast, punctual songs that begin and end with guns-a-blazing.
Initially, it seems like “Necropolis” is similar to previous Vader albums. Wiwczarek’s growls are as audibly vile as they have ever been, evil is the band’s best lyrical friend, and the riffs are as sharp as a butcher’s knife. “Devilizer” and “Rise Of The Undead” are potential future live cuts, with catchy choruses to chant along to and reckless guitar harmonies to incite circle pits a mile wide. The songs are much shorter this time around, with a few of the quicker numbers not even breaking the two-minute mark. This frenzied approach to songwriting lends itself to a rapid progression from one song to the next, with all the excess fat chewed off.
The two interludes, “The Seal” and “Summoning The Futura”, ascertain an ominous tone that defines a dark mystique to the album. The former is largely guitar feedback, with slow chanting building up to a stark collapse, while the latter is a cheesy call to the almighty beast of darkness. Both tracks are squished together with the weaker tracks of the album. “Dark Heart” has an awkward vocal approach, where Wiwczarek tries out a frantic, rhyming style that sounds out of place. The trade-off solos are a nice touch, but the vocals definitely halt the momentum.
“Dark Heart” is more the exception than the rule, as the rest of “Necropolis” is solid Death Metal with a Thrash undertone, especially with the bile-spewed mayhem of “Anger”. Closer “When The Sun Drowns In Dark” has a simple, one-note riff that is about as mainstream as Vader can possibly get.
And for dessert two great covers of Venom and Metallica will kill you with all majesty!
Even after a major shift in the line-up, Vader stays on track with “Necropolis”. Wiwczarek’s riffs and melodies are still potent, while his solos are screeching suicide bombers exploding in the night sky. The songs don’t screw about, avoiding a meandering pace by keeping everything tight and composed. After 25-plus years, Wiwczarek and company still have a large presence in the crowded Death Metal game, showing younger bands that there is still a ton of fury left in the Polish juggernaut!!
This is the first Vader release that features drummer Paweł "Paul" Jaroszewicz. A video was shot for the song "Never Say My Name", which is based partially on the book "The Gospel According To Satan" by Patrick Graham.
The album was nominated for a Fryderyk Award in the category 'Heavy Metal Album of the Year'. It was sold around 1130 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album reached number 19 on the Billboard "Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers)". In Poland, "Necropolis" landed at position No. 5, and dropped out five weeks later. The album also charted in France and Germany.
Nuclear Blast GmbH, 2009 (NB 2396-2). Made in Germany. First press.
1. Devilizer 3:19
2. Rise Of The Undead 3:52
3. Never Say My Name 2:01
4. Blast 1:50
5. The Seal 2:10
6. Dark Heart 2:59
7. Impure 3:40
8. Summoning The Futura 1:05
9. Anger 2:14
10. We Are The Horde 3:10
11. When The Sun Drowns In Dark 7:06
12. Black Metal (Venom cover) 3:13
13. Fight Fire With Fire (Metallica cover) 4:05
Total playing time: 40:44