Legacy of brutality: Vader

Vader may be the biggest-selling death-metal band ever to crawl out of Poland -- and the first behind-the-Iron Curtain band to sign a Western record deal -- but that's obviously not saying much. Vader does, however, deserve some small recognition, if only for tenacity. From their 1990 demo, Morbid Reich, through last year's The Art of War EP, they've pounded out the same late-'80s-vintage Euro death-thrash with a disregard for musical trends and innovation that's striking even among extreme-metal bands. In a genre where burnout, premature violent death, and album sales in the low four-figures are the rule, not the exception, Vader's 15-year recorded career of solid but second-rate evil adds up to a notable metal achievement.

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