Swedish black metal legends Marduk finally return to our shores after visa problems (so I'm told) forced them to cancel their stint on the Mayhem tour earlier this year. With the acknowledgment that many fans were deeply disappointed (myself included), Marduk didn't really belong on that tour anyway: The real stars were grind titans Cephalic Carnage and Cattle Decapitation. Mayhem, despite the presence of both Necrobutcher and drummer Hellhammer, and those handsome, satin 25 Years of... flags that flanked the stage, were really sort of lame - Attila Csihar being the Flavor Flav of black metal (substituting an oversize upturned cross for a timepiece.)
When I last saw Marduk, at a sparsely attended, all-ages show in Central Jersey in 2001 (then with fan-favorite vocalist Legion) they gave their all as if it were their big night at the Garden. Yes they came out in corpsepaint, leather and spikes, but beyond that there was no pomp, no pretense—just a love of black metal and the obvious relish of a chance to deliver it to their fans.
The current Marduk lineup basically dates from 2004, though the constant of guitarist Morgan Håkansson (aka Evil from Abruptum) remains. Guitarist Magnus "Devo" Andersson was also in Marduk over 1992-1994, playing on the great Those of the Unlight LP as well as the band's full-length debut. Marduk vocalist Daniel "Mortuus" Rosten is no slouch either, having fronted the mighty Triumphator (which also featured former Marduk drummer Fredrik Andersson), and his solo project Funeral Mist has been a fan and critic favorite for years. Yes, the Swedish black metal scene is a bit incestuous, but to our benefit, as this means these guys have chops on their chops, so it should be a great show.
Marduk will be releasing their 11th studio album, Wormwood, on Septemper 24 (Oct. 13 in the U.S.)
Below are a few career-spanning mp3s to entice you out this Saturday night; Marduk are playing the Blender Theater at Gramercy in NYC with Withered, Black Anvil and the excellent Tombs. Full Marduk tour dates can be seen here (there are Baltimore and Philadelphia shows that precede NY.) Marduk will also be making a meet-and-greet appearance (!) at Duff's in Williamsburg this Friday night.