Most well-known Viking rock has come out of Scandinavia. Long before Mayhem murderously imploded, though, Poland's Vader played some of the darkest, most brutally intense death-metal thrash to ever emerge from behind the Iron Curtain. In the early days, the act promoted itself through an underground network of tape trading and became the first Polish metal band signed to a Western European label. Although the band's albums and song titles are rife with chuckle-worthy references to horror fiction and movies and the occult, the music is searingly precise. And like any other speed-demon heshers, the players blitz the fretboard — but they also make their sludgier riffing seem incredibly forceful.


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