Lords of the Land – Glasgow Barrowlands – 1.4.17

It’s been a hectic and exhausting weekend, but I’ve still got a couple of hours before I get home. I’m starting this just as the train is about to shoot through back into England. 

Acid Reign in Manchester were absolutely stunning and well worth a twenty hour long day to see the gig and ultimately making me feel tired for so much of my trip to Scotland. 

Live they are such a fun band to watch. H’s sharp wit is something to behold when the drunken hecklers try to get the upper hand. All the classics were there, the pair of new songs were also aired and some album deep tracks. If seeing Two Minded performed by H wearing a Donald Trump mask doesn’t make you laugh then I don’t know what will. 

It only felt like I was home for the blink of an eye before it was out of the door again to jump on a train to Scotland at 8am. A little over three hours later and we were in the Buckfast capital. Just over an hour later we were catching the final strains of Rotten Sound. I got us lost trying to find the Barrowlands, and time wise they should’ve already been off the stage when we arrived, so we weren’t expecting to see any of the Finnish band. They were the first band on, and unless times had been changed and I’d not seen, a long day was already made longer as the first band on we’re already fifteen minutes or so late in finishing.

For reasons unbeknownst to me Memoriam were up next for a paltry thirty minutes. Possibly the band with one of the biggest buzzes about them at the moment and they were on ridiculously early for their Scottish debut. A healthy crowd greeted the death metal supergroup who seemed plagued with onstage sound issues. Compared to the last time I saw them, yesterday seemed pretty flat in comparison, still great to see though. 

And if things couldn’t get weirder then they did with Acid Reign for another half hour blast. This was a proper greatest hits set compared to what occurred the night before. H encouraged the stage divers to come over to stop the security guys getting bored – and they duly obliged. At one point the band’s front man took to the air himself and ended up being carried from the stage pretty much back to the sound desk then returned to the stage at alarming speed. Band of the day for me. 

We took the opportunity to refuel outside of the venue during Dragged Into Sunlight and we returned shortly after Venom, Inc had begun. With the trio of personalities on the stage you knew what you were going to get. An hour of the Venom back catalogue played better than what is now billed as Venom could imagine. 

Death metal stalwarts Marduk eventually hit the stage almost forty minutes after Mantas and company had departed the stage. I didn’t get to see all of their set as I was well and truly flagging by this stage. I watched up until Glorification of the Black God then had to rest these ageing and tired limbs. 

Irish black metallers Primordial followed and I saw the start and end and they pulled a huge crowd. They’re not a band I’ve ever got into and I prefer the vocal delivery that Nemtheanga delivers with his Bathory inspired band Twilight of the Gods. 

Mayhem – the Norwegian black metal pioneers followed in a cloud of smoke and blue light. The two things I recall from the bit I saw was that drum kit is huge and why are they all wearing cloaks now! They seem to have reinvented themselves drastically since the last time I saw them indoors, when they shared the stage with severed pig heads and I fell asleep during their set, something that nearly happened again. 

Belatedly it was finally time for death metal legends Autopsy to close proceedings. This was their first Scottish show in twenty seven years and their first British appearance since Bolt Thrower’s charity London event back in 2012. There’s never anything flashy or spectacular with a live Autopsy show. Just heads down and flat out uncompromising brutal death metal with a singing drummer. 

It’s a shame timings seemed to be out of the window as they completed their set with Charred Remains just after midnight to an ever dwindling crowd. The audience the previous two bands had on comparison was obviously bigger. The times seemed to be an issue beforehand with those people using public transport afterwards and it ended up looking pretty embarrassing from where I was standing. 

It was a decent day out, maybe too much of the stuff I’m not fond of consecutively, which made it feel like it dragged badly at points. Let’s see what happens next year. 


Glorification Of The Black God

In the current climate this could be perceived as a controversial post. 

It will be my second time overall, and both within the last year, seeing the Norrköping  natives Marduk on stage when they perform a special twentieth anniversary set for their 1996 album Heaven Shall Burn… When We Are Gathered (to give the record its full title) at Lords of the Land on Saturday.  I’m assuming they’ve been doing a twenty year set on their current tour considering it’s officially 21, unless the promoter wanted something more unique considering they played in the city last May. 

They’ve recently completed a two week stint in the United States followed by some Antipodean shows. All appear to have passed without major controversy apart from their date in Oakland, California back in February. 

The Metro Opera House should have been hosting the show, but the faceless keyboard warriors that this era is rife with and Antifa (Anti Fascist Action) activists made threats against the venue proclaiming Marduk to be NSBM band (National Socialist Black Metal). Sure, they have an interest in World War II. There’s even a family connection within the band with the SS, but it doesn’t make them a facist band. 

I remember Slayer getting some similarly  unwanted attention in the past, but that all blew over and people found other things to whine about. Motörhead’s late frontman Lemmy was a renowned artefacts collector, but I can never recall boycotts, death threats or cancellations with them. Likewise with Bolt Thrower, Sabaton and Hail of Bullets who also have an affinity with a very intriguing period in history. 

The venue even ploughed through interviews spanning two decades and found no references, indications or statements referring to white supremacy, immigrants or nationalism. In the end the show was scrapped on police advise and more for the safety of the staff. 

Earlier in the week Stoke punk icons Discharge were announced to play along side Marduk at the Blackest of the Black festival in California in a couple of months time. The festival is curated by and features Danzing, with a whole host of bands performing live including Suicidal Tendencies, Ministry, Suicide Silence and Venom, Inc. 

Reading the mainly congratulatory posts you get smacked in the face with this

Sharing a stage with a NSBM band Marduk? How very punk

You know what they say about mud sticking. The author was called out on it and asked to show some evidence to the fact. Surprisingly though, three days later there has been no response. 

It seems to be something happening a lot lately when bands or individuals don’t appear to adhere to what some attention seeking keyboard warriors deem acceptable in their simple little mind. I’ve seen bands kicked off bills or removing themselves all on some unfounded, hear say accusations that just snowball out of control all over the World Wide Web. 

Anyway, rant over. If you’re not going to feel tainted listening to Marduk here’s Glorification of the Black God taken from the album celebrating its anniversary. If you’re wondering the music is an adaptation of Night on Bald Mountain by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, and the lyrics are inspired by Bald Mountains theme. 

Live Arena 2016.18

Could I be clocking up the miles next week? 

Dear diary…

Monday – Manchester, Sound Control

On what is slated to be a hot day in the UK I’ll be spending five hours or so inside the sweltering Sound Control for an evening of black metal, death metal and thrash. 

Tuesday – London, Underworld

I so want to be here on Tuesday night, not necessarily for headliners Metal Church who I get to see in July anyway, but for opening bands Distilator from Holland and Belgians Bliksem who I only caught a few minutes of when they supported Flotsam & Jetsam last year. 

Friday – Sheffield, Corporation

Friday sees my first show in Sheffield since I saw Anthrax in the same venue back in 2006. The city is only 50 miles or so away, but it’s all twisting and turning roads over the Pennines. Headlining tonight are reactivated Yorkshire thrashers Amnesia who I never saw first time around. Time to dig out their sole album Unknown Identity from 1991. 

Saturday – Hull, O’Reilys

For £6 I couldn’t not buy a ticket to see Re-Animator in a home town show. The band are headlining Hail The Riff all dayer with bands from a more doom and sludge background. Possibly my first gig in Hull too. 

Sunday – Northampton, Roadmenders

A bit undecided on day two of this weekend festival. The last three bands on the second stage are Freebase, Warwound and Knuckledust – all bands I consider to be friends, so it’ll be good catching up with some familiar faces. A near two hour drive home though not so welcoming. 



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.