|» Marduk 2013 10 05||
Early October on an unholy Saturday night, Norrköping saw the coming of thee of Sweden's premier black metal acts. Touring the kingdom for eight dates it is not surprising that Norrköping would be chosen due to two of the acts ties to the city, with opening act Valkyrja being the excetption.
Valkyrja does their job as opening with honours. The band gives it all and moves around the stage frenetically although slightly hampered by the tiny stage area. Vocalist A.L. is a natural front man firmly commanding the audience in the same fashion as Erik Danielsson, yielding a surprisingly good response considering the venue is barely half-filled by this time. The band has not only looked on Watain for stage appearance, their music is heavily influenced by the Uppsala crew's mid-era albums.
Catchy riffing and splendid guitar lines makes for a pleasant listen
on album and would have been astonishing in a live setting were it not
for the poor sound. The guitars and vocals are completely drowned beneath
drums and bass effectively concealing the core of Valkyrja's sound. The
vocals eventually come into their rightful place but the guitars remain
inaudible. A poor faith for a band deserving all the credit for a textbook
opening of the evening.
Performance: 7 chalices
(sorry, no setlist)
With Ofermod main man Mika Hakola being a local resident a better turn-up was expected for the evening's second act. Truly, the venue starts to fill up just in time for the cult act. In contrast to Valkyrja, Ofermod has chosen a more laidback stage approach relying on authority rather than all-out energy. This approach pays off well with the audience falling in line with the band quite instantly. Despite vocalist Kvarnbrink being fully masked and covered beneath a hood he gets a good grip of the audience partly thanks to Hakola's commanding gaze which is nothing but pure evil.
The sound crew has managed to find the switch for the guitars this time
arround and the sound is miles improved compared to the evening's earlier
endeavours. Ofermod knows how to make the most of their music on stage
despite playing music more suited for solemn nocturnal rituals than a
Performance: 6 chalices
(sorry, no setlist)
After 15 minutes of Gregorian choir and filling the venue with smoke worthy a re-enactment of the battle of Lützen, tonight's main act Marduk finally make their appearance. They instantly set the tone with the title track of last year's effort 'Serpent Sermon'. The sound is excellent excelling all instruments well and the band is more spirited than last time they lay ruin to their home town.
They put on a tight effort apart from vocalist Mortuus who seems to have some problems with his voice this evening. The nuances which arguably make him the best vocalist in the genre is just not quite present tonight. Despite this, his effort is still in the top division. The crowd is surprisingly stale given the response to the previous acts witnessed by a less numerous audience. The band does their best to get everyone in the venue going but does not quite get there.
The band has put out albums for 21 years, most of them characterized by variation in tempo and atmosphere. The setlist this evening resembles their album approach fairly well, with a slight focus on the up-tempo tunes from grind-fest output 'Panzer Division Marduk', and is extremely well composed despite several personal favourites missing. Most songs are fairly well frequented in the bands live set with one major exception.
The true surprise for many this evening comes with the appearance of Alan of Primordial fame for a duet with Mortuus on the masterpiece 'Accuser/Opposer'. This spine-chilling highlight of the evening was hinted by guitarist Morgan in the interview by my colleague Bjorn, yet even those who got the heads up can't withstand the stunning primal force of the Mortuus/Alan duo.
When the last note of encore 'Panzer Division Marduk' fades the band has been on stage for a mere 1 hour 15 minutes, yet it feels like twice the time. Their heavy touring has made the band a formidable live act that truly never disappoints. Leaving Dynamo, the chilly October night seems like summer stemming from the energy unleashed by Marduk on their audience.
Performance: 8 chalices