Holy hell. This is one of the best albums of the year, and in my top three Vader releases along with Litany and De Profundis. What makes it even better is that each of those albums has its own flavor: Litany for increased death elements, DP for thrash, and now Tibi Et Igni for its epic scope.
2014 seems to be the year of symphonic metal. At some point the bubble is going to burst as things do when a new trend sets in. In the meantime, Vader is the latest to successfully adapt its elements into their sound. Despite the misgivings of some, this is not a detraction for fast and hard Vader sound fans have come of love over the years.
The trademark tremolos are as wicked as ever, often punctuated with memorable fills and crunchy palm muting. While some lesser releases have suffered from track to track with lack of invention on these riffs, the hooks here seem endless. In fact, there is no filler speak of at all. The marching guitars, relentless drums, and highly aggro-theatrical vocals make each track a unique entity. Many have already been citing "Hexenkessel" as the centerpiece to the action, and for good reason: “Oh God... Why have you forsaken me..Damn you and your helpless angels! Your heart is as cold as this land,where I am dying now. Hope to see you in Hell!!! RUN! RUN or die...” Try not to get pumped to this album.
"Triumph Of Death" is another personal favorite. There is a Seasons in the Abyss-era Slayer feel to it, but without feeling like a cheap imitation. Fitting considering the content. The songwriting is rock-solid across the board. The chorus is anthemic and lends itself well to what will definitely be crowd-pleasing moments in concert. Even on my first listen I found myself chanting “To the grave!” by the second chorus.
Coming full circle, the new symphonic additions add a whole new level to the evil. It is used sparingly which makes it feel less tacked on. They are not trying to compete with Dimmu Borgir. You have your straight thrash tracks that do not use it at all, and then the songs that use it effectively for intros and interludes. "Go To Hell" opens the album with a lengthy passage that perfectly sets the tone, then the guitars take hold with thrash-style solos that say “we haven't forgotten where the fuck we come from.” "The Eye of the Abyss" and aforementioned Hexenkessel also use some absolutely epic strings to accentuate the carnage.
Buy this album today. Do not walk...RUN. Run or die.