Vader (band)

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Vader 2011 in Rostock.jpg
Vader playing in Rostock (2011)
Background information
Origin Olsztyn, Poland
Genres Death metal
Years active 1983–present
Labels Mystic, Metal Mind, Earache, Impact, Hammerheart, Metal Blade, Regain, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Behemoth, Dies Irae, Vesania, UnSun, Crionics, Decapitated
Members Piotr Wiwczarek
Marek Pająk
James Stewart
Tomasz Halicki
Past members See "Former members"

Vader is an Fryderyk winning Polish death metal band from Olsztyn. Formed in 1983, the group was founded by back then basist Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek, and guitarist Zbigniew "Vika" Wróblewski. Band went through several lineup changes over the years, and since 2011 consists Wiwczarek on guitars, and vocals, the only member of original lineup, guitarist Marek "Spider" Pająk, basist Tomasz "Hal" Halicki, and British drummer James Stewart.

Started as heavy metal group Vader eventually went to thrash, speed and then, in late 1980s became death metal act. The band's name was inspired by Darth Vader from the Star Wars film series.[1] Lyrical themes include stories by H. P. Lovecraft,[2] WW2, horror and anti-religious messages. According to Billboard magazine by 2002 Vader sold approximately 500,000 releases around the world.[3]


From left: Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka, Paweł "Paul" Jaroszewicz, Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek and Tomasz "Reyash" Rejek, August 28, 2009

Vader was formed in 1983, the same year as the very first death metal pioneers such as Possessed and Death. However, at this time they were a heavy/speed metal band, later evolving into thrash metal and then finally death metal for their first demo, Live in Decay, in 1986. They released another demo, Necrolust, in 1989, but it was not until their third demo, Morbid Reich, in 1990, that they gained international attention, selling nearly 10,000 copies and making it one of the most sold metal demos ever. This success earned the group a contract with Earache Records. The songs from Morbid Reich would appear later on their full-length debut album in 1993, The Ultimate Incantation.

Due to communication breakdowns, the contract with Earache was terminated and the 1994 release of Sothis and The Darkest Age: Live '93 had to be released on different labels. In the meantime, they toured relentlessly and in 1995, they signed a contract with Impact Records and released De Profundis, Future of the Past, and Black to the Blind. Then, Hammerheart Records re-released two early demos, Necrolust and Morbid Reich, as the Reborn in Chaos. In August 1998, Vader released Live in Japan. Before it came out in December, they also recorded the Kingdom EP and a VHS video entitled Vision and Voice. In October of that year, Vader opened for Slayer during a show in Poland.

At the end of 1998, they signed a contract to Metal Blade Records for the release of their sixth album, Litany. 1999 was spent mostly on tour. In March 1999, Vader embarked on their first headlining U.S. tour, the International Extreme Music Festival 1999, and in May of that same year, they played at Metalmania. In June, they went on another European tour, and the rest of the summer was filled with numerous appearances at festivals in Central Europe. The season concluded in a European tour with thrash metal band Testament.

In November and December 1999, the band recorded the album Litany, which was set for release in March 2000, and recorded a music video for the song "Cold Demons," which appeared on a special-edition digipack. The release of the album was also backed up by live shows, including April's No Mercy Festival 2000, and in June, the band embarked on a 30-date European tour with Vital Remains, Fleshcrawl, and The Crown.

In April 2001, Vader released the EP Reign Forever World, featuring re-recorded songs, cover songs, and live tracks. They promoted the album intensively—in Poland, Russia and Ukraine, and again in the U.S. In September 2001, they did another European tour with Cryptopsy, Dying Fetus, Catastrophic, and several other bands. This was followed by 10 Polish appearances as part of the Thrash'em All Festival 2001 along with Krisiun, Behemoth and several Polish death metal and black metal bands.

In 2002, Vader released Revelations, and toured England, Scotland, and Ireland during the No Mercy Festival's dates. In May, the band released their first DVD, More Vision and the Voice. In 2004, the band started recording The Beast (which was finished in mid-July) along with an extensive promotional campaign including over 170 gigs. Recording sessions for their new album were postponed in May due to an accident which injured the drummer, Doc. He was replaced with Daray from the Polish band Vesania. The supporting Europe-wide tour saw the band's first trip to the Balkans. The most important gig of 2004 was at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów, where the band opened for Metallica in front of 50,000 people.[4]

In March 2005, their drummer, Doc, left the band due to apparent drug problems. In August 2005, it was announced that Doc had died.[5]

In 2008, Novy decided to leave Vader after five years; Marcin Rygiel (ex-Decapitated) replaced him on bass for the U.S. Summer Slaughter Tour 2008. Reyash would join as a permanent bassist later in the year.[6]

In 2009 eighth Vader album entitled Necropolis was released via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Hertz studios in Bialystok, Poland with the Wieslawski Bros.[7]

In 2011, Vader released another album, entitled "Welcome to the Morbid Reich".[8]

In 2013, Vader announced that they plan to enter the studio in December 2013 to record their tenth studio album, which is to be entitled "Straight to Hell", for a 2014 release. In December 2013, Vader announced they have entered the studio to record their upcoming album, alternatively titled Tibi et Igni, for an early 2014 release.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

American rock band's Eagles of Death Metal name was influenced by Vader. When a friend was trying to introduce Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme to the death metal genre, he played Vader's music. Homme called them "The Eagles of death metal." After hearing this phrase, he wondered what a cross between the Eagles and a death metal band would sound like. Afterwards, the phrase became the name of his band.[10]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

  • Robert Bielak – vocals (1984-1985)
  • Piotr Tomaszewski (deceased) – vocals (1985)
  • Robert "Czarny" Czarneta – vocals (1986−1988)
  • Zbigniew "Vika" Wróblewski – guitar (1983−1986)
  • Jarosław "China" Łabieniec – guitar (1991−1997)
  • Maurycy "Mauser" Stefanowicz – guitar (1997–2008)[13]
  • Robert "Astaroth" Struczewski (deceased) – bass guitar (1986)
  • Jacek "Jackie" Kalisz – bass guitar (1988−1991, 1993)
  • Piotr "Berial" Kuzioła – bass guitar (1991−1992)
  • Leszek "Shambo" Rakowski – bass guitar (1993–2001)[14]
  • Konrad "Saimon" Karchut – bass guitar (2002–2003)[15]
  • Marcin "Novy" Nowak – bass guitar (2003−2008)[16]
  • Grzegorz "Belial" Jackowski – drums (1986–1987)
  • Krzysztof "Docent" Raczkowski (deceased) – drums (1988–2005)[17]
  • Dariusz "Daray" Brzozowski – drums (2004, session; 2005–2008)[18]
  • Paweł "Paul" Jaroszewicz – drums (2008–2011; 2013, one show)[19]

Touring members[edit]

Session members[edit]

  • Jerzy "U." Głód – keyboards (2002)
  • Krzysztof "Siegmar" Oloś – keyboards (2005, 2006, 2008, 2011)



Studio albums


Fryderyk Awards
Year Category Nominated work Note
1997 Hard & Heavy Album of the Year (Album roku - hard & heavy) Black to the Blind Nominated[22]
2000 Hard & Heavy Album of the Year (Album roku - hard & heavy) Litany Nominated[23]
2002 Heavy Metal Album of the Year (Album roku - heavy metal) Revelations Nominated[24]
2004 Metal Album of the Year (Album roku metal) The Beast Nominated[25]
2006 Rock/Metal Album of the Year (Album roku rock/ metal) Impressions in Blood Nominated[26]
2009 Heavy Metal Album of the Year (Album roku heavy metal) Necropolis Nominated[27]
2012 Heavy Metal Album of the Year (Album roku heavy metal) Welcome to the Morbid Reich Won[28]


  1. ^ "Kinofilia". Interview with Piotr Wiwczarek (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2006-05-03. Retrieved 2006-01-27. "Piotr Wiwczarek:" 
  2. ^ Gary Hill: The Strange Sound of Cthulhu: Music Inspired by the Writings of H. P. Lovecraft., s. 73. ISBN 978-1-84728-776-2
  3. ^ Roman Rogowiecki. Vader rules. „Billboard”. Tom 114, Nr 23, s. 57 (June 8, 2002). Nielsen Business Media, Inc.. ISSN 0006-2510
  4. ^,507525,1842
  5. ^ "Former VADER Drummer DOC Dead At 35 - Aug. 20, 2005". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved January 27, 2006. 
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  22. ^ "Fryderyki 1997: nominowani i laureaci" (in Polish). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "Fryderyki 2000: nominowani i laureaci" (in Polish). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  24. ^ "Fryderyki 2002: nominowani i laureaci" (in Polish). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "Fryderyki 2004: nominowani i laureaci" (in Polish). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Fryderyki 2006: nominowani i laureaci" (in Polish). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  27. ^ "Fryderyki 2010: nominowani i laureaci" (in Polish). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  28. ^ "Fryderyki 2012: laureaci" (in Polish). Retrieved 26 April 2012. 

External links[edit]