Hell! East! Future! Past! Metal!
Back in 1996, Vader released an album full of covers called Future of the Past. Inside you could find covers from bands like Sodom, Terrorizer, and Possessed. Now, a whole 19 years later Vader goes back to the future (of the past)!
I’ve been a fan of Vader for years. In the time since, they’ve changed little but just enough to avoid the trap of making the same album over and over again (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that). Vader has been consistent in their output, always great, but never mind-blowingly so (except Welcome To the Morbid Reich; that album is fire). When I found out that Future of the Past II – Hell In The East would only feature bands little-known outside the area once known as the Iron Curtain (Mostly Polish thrash and death metal), I grew more excited than I can ever recall for a covers album.
Unlike its predecessor, Hell In the East II features covers that are obscure outside of the Iron Curtain. Covering old Polish thrash and death metal bands was a smart move; not only is Vader bringing attention to lesser-known bands, but absolutely no one would’ve wanted to hear such a well-established band as Vader playing classic songs by other well-established bands of the same period.
The choices feel fresh. Because I haven’t heard pretty much any of the originals, I cannot comment on how they compare, but I’m going to take a wild guess that Vader didn’t make mind-boggling rearrangements. None of the songs feel off in Vader’s own catalog, partially thanks to their thrashier roots, partially to Peter Wiwczarek’s instantly recognizable growl. Yet Vader fans will of course note some obvious differences in the riff-department. It’s worth noting that there are a couple guest vocalists on songs like “Totalni Destrukce” and “Czas Apokalipsy” (whose names remain a mystery to me).
The production is familiar from the last couple of Vader albums, but I like the bigger role and added punch behind the bass. It’s a modern day production-job alright, but not crammed full. Although it’s not as balanced as Tibi Et Igni’s, perhaps (and most likely) intentionally.
It’s hard to say much about this album, because I am not here to review the music per se, only the performance and the manner these songs fit into Vader’s catalog. However, the thrashier material is a breath of fresh air I did not know I wanted. I haven’t given this album a score because, in case you missed it, it’s a covers-album, but if it was one of original material it would’ve scored well (much better than Danzig’s recent ill-fated foray into covers).
Just kidding. The covers of “Noc Demona”, “Necronomicon” and “The Beginning of Darkness” are so good I gave this…
3.5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell
You can order Future of the Past II – Hell In The East from our Polish friends at Witching Hour Productions. Remember to navigate the site in Polish for added authenticity. As always, be sure to follow Vader on Facebook and tell them the Toilet said, “Xeper.”