Thursday, December 17, 2009

Marduk, 12/16/2009

Last week, a bar in Brooklyn hosted a "black metal theory symposium." What the hell is that? Black metal is such a visceral experience. The point of it is its mystery, the things left unsaid. It's about wolves and sheep, Darwinism. Enter Swedish black-metal group Marduk, who taught a lesson no academic could come close to, when they played last night at the Gramercy Theater along with Nachtmystium and French black-metallers Merrimack. This was a night of black metal, sans theory, sans pedagogy—just as it should be.

Merrimack played a good set, but the sound was too quiet. Nevertheless, frontman Terrorizt chided the audience and got some reaction from the stereotypically apathetic New York metal crowd. (At the end of the night, my friend Dave was complaining that no one danced during Marduk's set—he'd attended the Allentown kick-off show for the tour and said it was better, and he was even disappointed in that one for the most part.)

Nachtmystium were a crowd favorite and sounded great. Most of their set came from their latest releases, focusing heavily on last year's
Assassins LP, which I reviewed for Revolver. Their sound guy kept on sticking his hands in the air in victory/"Black Sabbath Vol. 4" poses throughout their set. Obviously, this level of excitement came through the speakers. Marduk didn't have a soundman, and most of my friends told me that their set was feedback-laden; I was up front so I didn't notice. At the end of Nachtmystium's set, they played G.G. Allin's "I Kill Everything I Fuck," and Terrorizt came back out (sans corpse paint) to sing along. I think the fact that frontman Blake Judd did the show without a shirt is the reason they came across so well to the crowd—or at least for the ladies—since that's the band a lot of my friends were talking about afterwards.

Marduk's set, for me, was incredible and the night's highlight. Mortuus is a charismatic frontman and straddles the line between rock posturing (in a good way) and the vitriol you expect from a black-metal frontman. Guitarist Morgan mugged throughout the show, but mostly kept to the shadows. He's always been a mysterious character (having played in Abruptum) so it was fitting. The band's set seemed to include a song or two from each of their albums, which over well with the seemingly hardline/oddly sparse crowd. The mid-tempo "Materialized in Stone," off Marduk's third and arguably best album, Opus Nocturne, was a highlight, and the audience sang along. Throughout the night they played up their excitement to be in New York (they were here in August, though I missed that show), but it could also very well have been because it was the last night of the tour. Regardless, it was one of the best black-metal shows I've been to in a while. No lecture necessary.


Blake Judd of Nachtmystium

Judd with Merrimack's Terrorizt


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

pretty cool stuff here thank you!!!!!!!