Cats may have nine lives but Vader probably have more. They’ve had various ups and downs in the past 37 years, but since 2016’s The Empire they’ve not only reconnected with their thrash roots, but performed with utmost ferocity.
At the heart of the charge is their UK drummer, James Stewart. His hyper-charged performance complements lead guitarist Spider’s classic and melodic metal leanings perfectly instead of clashing with them. As a result, recorded for the first time in the UK since their 1992 debut, The Ultimate Incantation, and packed with mostly two-minute to-the-point juggernauts, their 12th album of originals is their best in more than a decade.