Review of Marduk gig at Sonar

Monday the 23rd of November 2009 was a rather grim and rainy day, perfect for a black metal show. Luckily Swedish black metal band Marduk was playing at the Talking Head Club inside Sonar in Baltimore that night, the closest stop to Washington DC on their US Plague Tour. I had a couple friends flake out on me, but since Marduk failed to get into the US for Maryland Deathfest back in May, and I missed their Baltimore stop on their 3 show mini tour back in August, I was determined not to miss them for a third time this year. So I drove up to Baltimore in that dreary cold rain by myself blasting metal all the way. When I got there Nachtmystium was setting up. They’re ok, sort of a thrashy black metal band. Not my favorite but worth checking out while drinking a beer or two. The final song of their set was a cover of GG Allin‘s song I Kill Everything I Fuck, which I gotta say was pretty fucking cool. Wasn’t expecting that one, wish I’d had my camera ready, I’d like to have that one on video. They’re scheduled to play with Kreator and Voivod at Jaxx in early March, so maybe I’ll get my chance then.

When Nachtmystium’s set ended I moved up to the front of the stage as everyone was clearing out to go smoke, order more beer, piss, etc… Got right up there and was chatting a bit to the people around me during the final sound check. Glad I did cause 2 of the guys next to me were throwing mad elbows all during Marduk’s set and fucking people up from the pit, but I got in good with em before that so I didn’t have any probs. Kinda dick of them, but it did keep people from the pit from fucking up my camera. Plus that latino guy wearing eyeliner and a shirt with the sleeves cut off looked like he could use a few bruises. Marduk’s set was pretty good, they played a good assortment of songs from a variety of albums which was cool. I’m not a huge fan of when bands play most of their new album and a few classics live, I much prefer the career spanning classics with a couple songs from the new album thrown in approach. This show was a pretty good example of that. During their long set they played songs off just about every album except for, oh yeah, my fucking favorite Marduk album Heaven Shall Burn… When We Are Gathered. Seriously, the whole time I was driving up there I was thinkin to myself how it’ll be worth all the stress of dark, rainy interstate traffic just to hear Infernal Eternal or maybe even Glorification Of The Black God live (basically a cover of Modest Mussorgsky’s classical piece A Night On Bald Mountain as arranged by Leopold Stokowski for the Disney movie Fantasia). Well, that didn’t happen. They did play some classics like Wolves, Funeral Bitch, and Baptism By Fire, but still, Infernal Eternal fucking rules. What the hell? If you like black metal and you haven’t heard those 2 songs do yourself a favor and listen to them right now by clicking their names up there. Fucking brutal! Anyways, the show was still fun and if not for the events on my drive home I’d probably say it was totally worth the trip to Baltimore on a Monday night (even tho the show ended after midnight on a weekday and I had to drive home afterwards). About 5 minutes outside of Baltimore on 95 my car decided it was going to stop running. Seriously, of all the times? I’ve had very few problems with this car in the 3 years I’ve owned it, but dying in Maryland was not awesome. A $200 tow truck ride got me back home at about 5am, plenty of time to be fucking exhausted for work the next day. Still, the set was good, the show was fun and I think I got some good pics too. I thought it was odd the drummer, Lars Broddesson, didn’t use 2 kick drums but instead had 2 petals set up on a single bass drum. That’s pretty uncommon for metal bands. By the end of their set, which was about an hour and a half, their corpse paint was smeared and the audience was running out of energy. They did the typical walk off stage encore thing but came back really quick, like 1 minute later, to play the final song of the night, Panzer Division Marduk. You can watch that video below. Overall I’d recommend any fan of old school black metal to go see Marduk, it’s a brutal show definitely worth the money.

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