Five Heavy Albums that Changed My Life with Peter Wiwczarek of Vader

Polish death metal vets Vader are about to drop their new full-length album, Solitude in Madness, and it’s cause for celebration because, to the surprise of absolutely no one, the album rules. To honor the occasion, we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Peter Wiwczarek to find out what five heavy albums changed his life.

Read on to see what early thrash album, live records, classic death metal platter and more shaped the life of Wiwczarek and, in turn, the sound of Vader.

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)

It all started with that album for me. I was still in primary school and hormones were starting to boil. We were a band of rebels who gathered together to listen to hard rock in one of our friends’ house. From the first sound of thunder and bells and then the opening riff of the song, that changed the whole world I knew. This album started a new era and new stage in music. I became a huge Sabbath fan after that day, and I am still today. Around 15 years after, I recorded my own cover of this timeless song with my band Vader. Even after 50 years since this debut was released, it still sounds so impressive and influencing.

Judas Priest – Unleashed in the East/Priest… Live! (1979/1987)

If Sabbath infected me with heavy music and new sounds, then Priest opened the whole heavy metal world to me. I knew nothing about Judas Priest until I heard “Riding on the Wind” on our top popular radio broadcast, Chart of Radio Three. I was shocked indeed! And never was the same anymore. The first Priest album I was able to have was that extraordinary Japanese live recording from 1979. You have no idea, how hard and expensive the vinyls were in Poland back in the ’80s. There were no record stores and all you could find was on the black market or record “flea markets” and spend your whole monthly payment for that. Judas Priest gave me so much power and will in those crazy times. They also were a main reason why I started to play metal instead of just listening to that. Vader was a straight consequence of my Priest fascination. I love the Flying V shape since I saw K.K. raising his guitar on the Unleashedposter. And I still do prefer strongly expressive and noisy tremolo leads than melodies or harmonies after the fabulous “Sinner” live version from this fascinating performance.

Slayer – Show No Mercy (1983)

Since we started Vader, we wanted to play the most extreme metal available. Show No Mercy was like a hit on your head with a hammer when it came out. I could not believe it! Slayer changed a perception of speed, brutality and intensity. They also changed myself… and Vader. Again, I heard three songs on radio broadcast and destroyed my tape recorder after it was not recording that. I just lost control… Slayer took over for many, many years and definitely belongs to my top favorite bands ever. I am a die-hard fan since that day, as I rammed my recorder until the band did their last tour last year. The first time I saw Slayer in Poland was in 1992 and the last time was in Japan in 2019. We also shared the stage a few times. Slayer made all extreme metal just even more extreme. Eternal respect!

Dark Angel – Darkness Descends (1986)

1986 was no doubt the best for those who love speedy, no-mercy metal. Possessed, Slayer, Kreator, Metallica and Dark Angel released albums which defined thrash/death metal for the coming generations. I wanna mention Dark Angel, because this great band deserved so much more in my opinion. Darkness Descends is the quintessence of brutal thrash or death metal (I never really felt that much difference between those styles back then). This album still belongs to my personal five favorite extreme metal albums ever recorded. Young Gene Hoglan is a real merciless death-like drummer!

Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness (1989)

Next Angel and next level in brutality. This album showed a different style in composing. To me, they were like Black Sabbath but 20 years later, in modern world of metal. Trey’s style of guitar chaos and Pete’s blasting drumming pushed extremity to different dimensions. The first four albums are to me a true and natural evolution in extreme metal. What is after that limit is closer to grind or noise. However, this is only my subjective opinion, of course. Too bad that Trey & Co. kept trying to do another revolutions in metal. They did enough great indeed and all those experiments were not really necessary. However, with albums like Altars or Covenant, they have a well-deserved place in the metal pantheon.