words by BBG, photos by Paul Birman

Marduk

Tis the season for corpsepaint? The coal-in-stocking crowd was on hand... to catch Marduk's first proper trek around the country since dropping off the Blackenedfest tour earlier this year. A good portion of the crowd appeared to have already spent their Christmas money on elaborate spiked armbands that could be classified as weapons.

Openers Merrimack played streamlined and fierce French black metal to a gathering crowd, bedecked in enough spikes to host a shish kabob dinner.

Marduk closed the evening... [and could have] been on edge; a fan at an earlier southern California show tried to torch a Bible and an overzealous security guard shot pepper spray, forcing the venue to clear for 10 minutes. In San Francisco, Marduk didn't withhold crowd pleasers from Panzer Division, Opus Nocturne and early tracks like "Still F-ing Dead." But the strongest moments were from recent albums including "Into Utter Madness," and "Phosphorous Redeemer" from Wormwood and "The Leveling Dust," from Rom 5:12. The more expansive Marduk tracks showed a side to the band neglected by fans who stick to earlier albums... Marduk's latest albums have showcased a rejuvenated band that is heading in more creative directions than at any point during their career. But on this night they might have been slightly bested by Nachtmystium, who buckled down and showed where black metal is headed as we enter the new decade. [About.com]

Marduk joined dark forces with Nachtmystium, Mantic Ritual, Merrimack, Black Anvil, and Dimentianon at Gramercy Theater on Wednesday (12/16) as part of Marduk's US Plague tour, their second trek to the US and at that venue this year. The above review comes from the band's San Francisco gig, the same show known for the infamous Mortuus hip toss. Word has it that the NY show saw Nachtmystium joined by Merrimack vocalist Terrorizt for a cover of GG Allin's "I Kill Everything I Fuck".

More pics from the show are below...

Black Anvil

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Mantic Ritual

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