When: Fri., June 8, 7 p.m. 2012
After 22 years and 12 full-length studio albums, you'd think Swedish black-metal institution Marduk would have worn off some of their own edges—it's hard to imagine they can still tell whether their music has any shock value. Maybe Mortuus, who's fronted the band since 2004, is starting to feel like he's punching a time clock with the blasphemy. But maybe not—maybe they still believe in their own satanic majesty just as fervently as they did in 1991, when fucking nuns and goats and pissing on crosses was a growth industry. Whatever the case, Marduk's new Serpent Sermon (Blooddawn/Century Media) has no flab and no filler: you know what you're going to get from this band, and you get it really, really hard. The album sounds cold and crisp, as though brittle bits of it might break off, lodge themselves in your inner ear like nasty little frozen hooks, and then work their way slowly down to your heart. And I'll be damned if the record doesn't have a few of the other kind of hooks as well—well, I'll be damned no matter what, I suppose. —Monica Kendrick 1349, Withered, and Weapon open.