Top positive review
A very worthy inclusion in any death metal fan's collection
on February 15, 2014
At face value, the fifth long-player from Poland's finest exports appears to be the same as we're usually used to hearing from Vader, with blistering, Slayer-inspired guitars and drums thrashing around with reckless abandon beneath frontman Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek's visceral (although not overly so) vocal growls. But upon further inspection, 2002's "Revelation" is actually a substantially more groove-oriented effort than 2000's "Litany" was, and even goes so far as to flirt with occasionally restrained tempos. (indeed, whereas that album had grindcore tendencies, this is a piece of pure, straight-up death metal through and through.)
Furthermore, it is also important to note that "Revelation" is more centered around guitar solos than pretty much everything that we have heard from Vader previously. In fact, this release is actually home to some of the all-time best solos in the band discography! Sometimes they remain chaotic and careening, sure, but for the most part, guitarists Wiwczarek and Maurycy "Mauser" Stefanowicz make them much more involved, ripping, and technical -- so much so, that it is not uncommon for them to even verge on being melodic.
Opener "Epitaph" is a catchy energy rev up with a thrashy, chugging main riff. The growly yet simultaneously always intelligible vocals and locomotive drumming then kick in, thus helping the number to gain momentum pretty much throughout its whole playing time. But, of course, an inspiring guitar solo section also aids in this fact -- it is a really memorable, trade-off-section that begins with a ripping, ascending/descending, whammy-tinged solo, and tacks on three more fiery solos after that. And "The Nomad" is the perfect follow-up to it, as it, too, is a steady bruising with a meaty chug and another round of really ripping and air-guitar-able solos that have a surprisingly high amount of melody in them.
All bets are off, though, for the next song, "Wolftribe," a speedy death metal blast that overflows with chainsaw picking, insistent thrash beats, and blistering soloing. And "Whisper" is even more brutalit is an utterly devastating death metal blast fest with a healthy dose of nearly mind-boggling drumming and descending, whammy bar-soaked solos. The vocals are also of particular note, here, as they come courtesy of Adam "Nergal" Darski (and anyone who has ever witnessed Behemoth's music can attest to just how killer this cat's pipes are!)
It is "When Darkness Falls," however, that likely takes the cake for being the album's epic. Boasting a steady chug and some more irresistible hooks ("Revelation" is laced with strong ones throughout) are always a plus, but the fact that "Darkness" also boasts some well-placed (and perfectly-executed) fast tempo changes and thrashy, tight, cymbal-heavy drumming really help to lend the song an epic scope. And two other epic, shred-happy, and all-over-the-map solos also further drive this point home.
"Torch Of War" is another solo-fest, boasting leads that ranges from chaotic and shredding to slower and more melodic. A bunch of devastating death metal drum blasts also highlight this beast. "The Code" continues in this vein, with a strong, grumbling bass line, thrashy picking, and clattering cymbal rides; but the next song after that, "Lukewarm Race," is a more in-control venture with hooky, industrial strength chugging, ominously brooding groove, and ripping solos. adherent groove, and ripping solos. All told, it all makes for one remarkably catchy, mosh pit-ready song, and a definite album stand out. But immediately back on the blistering side, "The Revelation Of Black Moses" is yet another brutal and speed-happy blast of pure, unadulterated death metal
When placed back to back, 2000's "Litany" is the better of the two records, but that definitely does not mean that "Revelation" is, in and by itself, a very, very good album, and one that is easy to recommend to all extreme metal aficionados. But hey, this should be a no-brainer for all seasoned metal fans, because the same could -- err, check that: Should -- be said for just about anything with Vader's name on it, now shouldn't it?!