I’ve scribbled bits on the opening three bands for tomorrow’s gig, so predictably here’s something on Marduk.
(Just making a number up to make a point) 95% of black metal isn’t on my musical radar in 2016. I dabbled with it briefly during its second wave inception, but just lost interest in its unintelligible shrieks and screams as vocals and it’s imagery didn’t really adhere it’s self to me.
Black metal found its spiritual home in Scandinavia, predominantly in Norway. Corpse paint, studs and spikes started to give way to church burning, violence and murders in attempts to appear to be more satanic and evil. A few decades on now for some of those early bands they have now even ditched the corpse paint. Watching a band like Emperor at festivals in shirts and sunglasses doesn’t evoke the image they were once trying to get over, although plenty have stuck to the imagery.
Named from a Babylonian deity, Marduk are from over the neighbouring border in the Swedish city of Noorköping. Formed back in 1990 they wanted to be the most blasphemous band in the world. Well that job was achieved with the arrival of their first EP in 1991. Along with several other bands of the time they fell foul to various obscenity laws and the release received bans in several countries.
Over the years the band seem to have moved away from the anti religious and satanic themes to those more centred around World War II. Like this video taken from last years album of the same name, their current tour is labelled Frontschwein 2016 – basically a word used by the German military for the the soldiers who were on the front line the longest and duly turned into cannon fodder.