Vader | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Formed in Poland in 1986 and often credited as one of the first eastern European bands to get heard beyond the iron curtain, Vader has released an album every single year since it signed to Earache in 1992. That's a particularly impressive feat given their sound: punishingly dense metal with an architectural sensibility isn't something you just crank out. According to their Web site, a new full-length won't be ready until late 2006, but I can't blame them for taking a break from the studio after making last year's The Beast (Metal Blade). All ten tracks are raw enough to qualify as death metal, but the songs also reflect a wide-ranging European melodicism. The chipped-off riffs that adorn "Intro" and fill in the oh-so-brief gaps during the martial charge of "Dark Transmission" have a hungry quality that offsets the regal, saurian bulk of the main riffs, and the guitar solo on "Firebringer" is downright lyrical. Any metal band can sound intense, but Vader's brutality is more enlivening than numbing. Kreator and Strapping Young Lad headline; Propain, Agony Scene, Misery Signals, If Hope Dies, and Reflux open. Tue 4/12, 4:15 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $19.50 in advance, $21 at the door. All ages.

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