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2009-12-12 IL – Chicago - Reggie’s Rock Club

It had been many months since my last black metal show. Long overdue, it was decided that a trip to the windy city of Chicago ensued to see the mighty Swedish black metal band MARDUK. After having cancelled their US summer tour with Mayhem due to problems entering this country, MARDUK finally made it onto US soil. Hearing that their tour bus had broken down days before this show, I could only hope they would show up at the venue that evening.

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We arrived and no sooner than that French black metallers :: MERRIMACK :: took to the stage. I was surprised that they were opening due to the fact that they are an established band. They ripped through such songs as Insemination off the Of Entropy And Life Denial album. Putting forth a most aggressive performance, though vocalist Terrorizt didn’t seem to pleased with the crowd’s reaction to MERRIMACK‘s music, and shook his head in disgust. Their set was relatively short and before I knew it, that was that.

I didn’t know who :: MANTIC RITUAL :: was, but they were up next. This four piece thrash band from Pittsburgh, PA looked like the metal heads down the street. Very young and very amazing musicians. They reminded me of the old school thrash that came out of the 1980s in looks and sound. They seemed to be having a lot of fun, smiling a lot, especially during the song Panic, taken from their debut album entitled Executioner. They brought a different vibe to the show, which was a little strange, considering all the other bands on the bill were black metal. I was quite impressed by the guitarist; his solos were phenomenal, so much, that I found myself staring in awe at his lightening fast fret movements. MANTIC RITUAL was pleasantly pleasing even though they were the misfit band of the night.

Next up was Chicago’s own :: NACHTMYSTIUM :: Opening with Your True Enemy off the Assassins album, at first I didn’t even recognize the song because it was played at a faster speed and the way the sound man had the settings, making it rather muddy. Vocalist/guitarist Blake was shirtless and a sweaty mess. Breaking into a few songs off their new EP Doomsday Derelicts, bassist Jon Necromancer surprisingly shared half the vocal duties for Life Of Fire. Everyone seemed excited and pumped up for NACHTMYSTIUM, things started to get extremely crazy in the pit. During Hellish Overdose I found myself getting pushed even though I was away from the pit. Reaching back to the Instinct Decay album to pull out A Seed For Suffering, I enjoyed seeing how Jeff and Blake pulled off that spacey guitar work in the middle of the song. NACHTMYSTIUM’s performance was overtly energetic and went off without a hitch, they closed the set with GG Allin’s I Kill Everything I Fuck!

Now onto the main attraction of the night :: MARDUK :: As I was pressed against the stage I turned around and noticed the wall of metalheads behind me. Gulp! As MARDUK materialized onto the stage the battle began as they played the song With Satan And Victorious Weapons. I was smashed by an enthusiastic wave of metal appreciation, which thankfully calmed down after the first song. Standing in front of guitarist Morgan I was transfixed upon his guitar playing for the entire show. Mortuus’ vocal deliverance was dead on, and passionate as he grabbed the mic stand and moved around the stage. All members were dressed in black with army boots. As they played Into Utter Madness off their new album Wormwood they whipped the pit into a violent frenzy. People were getting tossed onstage, to the dismay of the band. Those stage divers were quickly extracted from the show. Someone even had the nerve to throw beer onstage. After each song, the members would stand before their amps and then turn around and to begin the next assault. Watching new drummer Lars blast through the songs, I noticed him grimacing and holding his arms after songs due to the exhaustion of speed at which he was playing. Morgan and Mortuus seem to have an intimidating stage presence. Maybe a bit arrogant, as Morgan wore a leather vest with nothing but MARDUK patches on it. Not really making eye contact with fans, and reluctantly grabbing fans hands. Mortuus had nothing to say between songs except “They couldn’t keep us out of the US this time.” MARDUK slowed it down and went back to the album Opus Nocturne for the mesmerizing song Materialized In Stone. Mortuus pulled off the vocals from previous albums very well. There was no room for error here. They closed out their set in a blaze with Baptism By Fire. MARDUK is the kind of band that just leaves you speechless, they’re performance was seriously intense, and nothing short of amazing. No disappointments at this show.


story & pics © Goddess Sioux