CD Review: VADER - Lead Us!!!
Vader are fond of exclamation points. This EP, originally available during 2007's Death by Decibels tour, has songs titled "Lead Us!!!" and "Die!!!". They should have included "Forwards to Die!!!" and "Helleluyah!!! (God Is Dead)" from their back catalogue, and called the whole thing !!!.
The Lead Us!!! EP contains no new material. "Lead Us!!!" comes from 2005's The Art of War EP, while "Die!!!" comes from the EP's Japanese edition. Likewise, "The Book" comes from 2006's Impressions in Blood, while "Raining Blood" comes from that album's Japanese release. The disc also contains three videos. "This Is the War" came with The Art of War, while "Helleluyah!!! (God Is Dead)" and "Sword of the Witcher" were extras on the And Blood Was Shed in Warsaw DVD (reviewed here).
Still, tracking down Japanese editions and full-size videos is onerous, and this EP does a service by compiling Vader's best bonus materials from recent years. Of note is the blistering take on Slayer's "Raining Blood," easily the best metal cover of this song extant. The other tracks find Vader at their finest, having evolved into a memorably precise death metal juggernaut.
The EP's greatest draw is its three videos. "This Is the War" and "Sword of the Witcher" feature state-of-the-art computer animation, and are some of the most visually engaging videos modern metal has produced. Seeing them on a full-size screen, free of grainy YouTube compression, is a cinematic experience. 25 years into their career, Vader not only have their own sound, but also a vision.