Vader is a death-metal legend, and rightly so. The band has overcome its silly name and released some seriously crushing albums since forming in 1986. The group can be hit-or-miss: 2002's Revelations is brain-meltingly great, while 2000's Litany was a Slayer-cloned disappointment. But last year's The Beast proved that Vader's now on a hot streak.
Decapitated churns out impeccable high-tech death metal, revitalizing the genre not by playing faster or more "brutally," but by polishing the music into a gleaming steel skeleton. By its third album, last year's The Negation, the band had become mind-bogglingly tight, combining the intricate thrash of Coroner with the ultra-clean blast beats of . . . well, nobody. Decapitated is unique -- and brilliant.
Dew-Scented is the least original and impressive band on this bill -- like the Haunted, it's a semi-anonymous thrash troupe. But the group's capable of keeping a crowd moshing contentedly until the big boys come out. If you're easily entertained, go ahead and show up early.