Marduk, Nachtmystium, Mantic Ritual, Merrimack Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Dec. 12, 8 p.m. 2009

This foul Swedish black-metal four-piece—and I mean "foul" in the best way—set out to be the most brutal and blasphemous band ever, and though it's awfully hard to keep score, there's no way they're not in the running. The 1995 CD reissue of their 1991 debut, a demo called Fuck Me Jesus, depicts on its cover a nude young lady having a go at herself with a crucifix, and it's been mostly downhill from there. Marduk took a shot at christening their own genre by naming a song "Christraping Black Metal" on the 1999 album Panzer Division Marduk, one of several releases to fortify their anti-Christian sentiment with Nazi themes and imagery. This tactic was probably intended to offend, well, everybody, and it even drew the ire of actual neo-Nazi black-metal acts, who called the band poseurs. Good for Marduk, I guess—if neo-Nazis are happy with what you're doing, it's probably time to reevaluate your direction. Only guitarist Morgan Steinmeyer Hakansson remains from the founding lineup, though bassist Magnus "Devo" Andersson was around for a while in the early 90s. Vocalist Daniel "Mortuus" Rosten came aboard in '04, and the impressive new Wormwood (Regain) is his third full-length with the band; his growling, shrieking, gargling, and howling gives the album much of its power. Marduk's east-coast trip in August was their first visit to the States in eight years—visa problems forced them to miss the Blackenedfest tour in May—and Mortuus was so happy to be here that he drank a chalice of congealing cow's blood onstage in New York. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $18, $15 in advance, 17+

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