Marduk in Des Moines

Location: Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA Date: 11/08/2010 By Crystal H. In the world of Black Metal, Norway seems to get all the attention, due to it’s rather violent and controversial past, which included multiple church burning, murders and suicide. But the Swedish Black Metal scene has actually existed longer, if you consider Bathory as the first Black Metal band. One of the most well-known black metal bands of the Swedish scene are Marduk, who were formed in 1990 by Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson with the intention of creating the most blasphemous band in the world. Twenty years later, after 11 studio albums, multiple EPs, DVDs and lineup changes, today’s Marduk is stronger and better than ever. This in part is due to the addition of Daniel “Mortuus” Rosten (also known as Arioch, of Funeral Mist) in 2004, who has elevated their song writing and lyrics to the pinnacle of what an Orthodox Black Metal band is capable. Their latest album Wormwood, released in 2009, is a collection of songs dedicated to the end of the world. In support of the release of Wormwood, Marduk toured the U.S. last fall for the first time in over 8 years. Now they are back on U.S. soil, appearing along side Possessed, Toxic Holocaust, Withered and Danzig on the 2010 line-up of Danzig’s Blackest of the Black tour. The Des Moines concert was a one of the few headlining appearances for the band, supported by tour mates Toxic Holocaust and Withered, which gave them significantly longer playing time to delve into songs from their extensive discography. The setting for this night was Vaudeville Mews, a tiny club set in a old store front in Downtown Des Moines. It is long and narrow, with a bar close to the entrance and a small, barely knee high stage towards the back, with a balcony above. After the opening bands Withered and Toxic Holocaust finished their sets, Marduk began setting up their equipment, minus their corpse paint. Soon the lights were dimmed and they made their way to the stage, now in full corpse paint, and launched into a song from their newest album – Into Utter Madness. For a black metal song it has surprising moments of melody thanks to the guitar playing of Morgan Håkansson and bass outro by Magnus “Devo” Andersson (formerly the band’s second guitarist from 1992-1994) at the end of the song. Vocalist Mortuus is the very essence of intimidation as he grimly walks around the stage glaring at the audience and spews forth guttural vocals as if they were from the depths of hell. While not singing he grabs the mic stand and headbangs, then puts a boot clad foot on his monitor and begins to bellow more lyrics. Drummer Lars Broddesson kept the music moving with his machine-gun double-bass drums. Tonight there would be none of banal the chit-chat that you hear from many bands, but just brief introductions of songs and what album they were from. At times it seemed like the band was deciding what to play as they went along, with brief chats amongst themselves. They performed several songs from one of their most critically acclaimed albums – Panzer Division Marduk, including the title track, 502 and Christraping Black Metal. Some of the highlights were The Levelling Dust, Throne of Rats and the slow, plodding infectious grooves of Bleached Bones, which is probably the sexiest sounding song ever written about necrophilia. Other standouts were With Satan and Victorious Weapons and Wolves, and they finished with the crowd chanting along to Christraping Black Metal. All of the songs were performed as if to a stadium crowd, even though it was just a small audience in a club, and demonstrates why Marduk, even after 20 years, are still one of the best Black Metal bands in the world. SET LIST Into Utter Madness 502 The Leveling Dust Throne of Rats The Black Phophorus Redeemer The Sun Has Failed Azreal Bleached Bones With Satan and Victorious Weapons Wolves Panzier Division Marduk Christraping Black Metal

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