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Blackened U.S.A. — Marduk Paints The Big Apple With Cow Blood

A little more than eight years ago, Marduk stomped onto U.S. stages with Deicide and Gorguts. While there is no denying that the latter two bands are brutal, it’s pretty telling of how eight years ago there was no sight of an American black/blackened metal scene. Marduk‘s heavily awaited return — considering vocalist Mortuus’ (Daniel Rosten) visa issues that prevented them from joining Blackened Fest — prompted three special shows along the East Coast with Withered and Black Anvil. So Noisecreep decided to give the full report on the momentous event, and here is the third installment.

Day 3: Meet and Greet at Duffs in Brooklyn, N.Y.

I wasn’t lying when I said day two was a really late night. When I made my way to the front lounge to see how close to my turnpike exit we’d made it, Beau (Withered’s drummer) sat upright on one lounge couch with his shoes and clothes still on. His eyes were closed and his hands were resting on his belly. On the other couch, Mike Longoria (Withered’s bassist) was using his own arm as a pillow. He was also still in his boots and clothes, but that’s no surprise, because he usually sleeps in those cavernous boots anyway.

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Marduk
Blackened USA: Marduk Paints The Big Apple With Cow Blood
Justina Villanueva for NoiseCreep

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oKE.start(“music-noisecreep.marduk_3″);


I woke up excited to be back in my home state of New Jersey. And, not because I was back home, but because I actually had a day to shower and take an extended nap. By 3 PM, I was a new person, showered and fresh. I took a couple of the guys to a Cuban restaurant in Union City. Unfortunately for the rest of the guys, they had to hear Mike Thompson gloat the whole day about how great the food was, how inexpensive the prices were, how authentic the restaurant was — oh, and how great the food was.

Meanwhile, Marduk took a bus into Manhattan. From noon to 8 PM, when the meet and greet at Duff’s began, the Swedes walked around the big apple. I don’t have any evidence of this, but the band joked that their new MySpace pic will be Morgan and Mortuus posing with a plushy Elmo on Times Square. Elmo’s bulging crotch was proof that even Sesame Street was happy to meet the tall Swedes.

That left a quiet bus for Withered to take periodic naps in all day, which is a nice treat for a band’s day off. By the time I brought Withered to Duff’s it was 11 PM. Paul and Raeph from Black Anvil joined the party, along with Marduk fans and Duff regulars. Writer Brandon Stousy and DJ Shark made sure the music was loud and continuous. The bar was full, but Marduk looked tired. So it was not surprising that they were bus-bound by midnight, and Withered was ready for a couple more hours of fun. To our surprise, sound guy Chris ‘Milkshake’ Green from the Blackened Fest was in town on an off-day from tour managing the Mountain tour. And, if that wasn’t enough of a Blackened Fest reunion, at a rooftop party 10 minutes away in Bushwick, Brooklyn we ran into Cattle Decapitation‘s merch girl. The coincidence grew when she told us that she lived in the building that we were on top of. Small world of extreme metal, indeed.

Day 4: Gramercy Theater show in N.Y.

I took my time getting to Gramercy Theater. It was just about 3 PM, and people were already in line. As early as it seemed, the time flew by. One lamb and rice box (from the falafel cart parked outside the bus) later and Tombs were already soundchecking. That is what most tour days are like. You wake up, eat, smoke a couple cigarettes here and there, and then all of the sudden someone on stage is asking for less or more vocals in their monitor.

Between Gramercy’s wide stage and theater seating is the main floor area, with two bars on opposite walls. Once the doors opened, the place really filled up. N.Y.C. is really unpredictable when it comes to metal shows. The ones you expect to have full attendance don’t, and vice versa. Even with ticket presales, none of us really knew what to expect. So when people were crowding the theater seats, and there was no walking room to get to the photo pit, I knew it would be a great show.

Tombs played an 18-minute set. Black Anvil played a 30-minute set. Then Withered played a 45-minute set. The tour manager and I agreed that it was the best show we’ve seen from Withered — ever. And, I’ve seen them over 25 times, counting the Blackened Fest tour. All in all, the placing and timing of each band was the perfect build up for what Marduk had in store.

Besides the two people who were consistently crowd surfing each turn they could, everyone else was headbanging with their horns raised high. Closer to the end of their set, the eagerly anticipated moment occured: Mortuus raised the chalice. The cow blood (yes, real cow blood) that had been frozen and thawed from Philly to New York was now a thick, room temperature liquid. He drank some, and the rest was a mystery. Even though I was able to use my flash to get pictures of him pouring it on himself, it was too dark and too quick for me to really see what was going on. Just as the blood finished splattering on the floor, a crowd surfer was caught before landing completely in the crimson mess. His bullet belt, however, did not make the rescue.

After a subtle encore, Marduk exited the stage. Half the room began making it’s way outside to 23rd Street, while the other half chanted “MARDUK” in hopes of one more song. The house lights went up, and the Gramercy crew began rinsing the cow blood off the stage. The bands hung around until 4 AM, when the bus started heading to Newark Airport. It was only a little bit sad to give my farewell to Marduk, since I know they will be returning shortly! Hint: The November/December tour rumor is not a rumor. The dates are below.

U.S. Plague Tour 2009
11/20/2009 – The Palladium – Worcester, MA w/ Black Anvil
11/21/2009 – Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC w/ Black Anvil
11/22/2009 – Wreck Room – Toronto, ON w/ Black Anvil
11/23/2009 – Sonar – Baltimore, MD
11/24/2009 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
11/25/2009 – Brass Mug – Tampa, FL
11/28/2009 – Red 7 – Austin, TX
11/29/2009 – Ridglea Theater – Ft Worth, TX
11/30/2009 – The Marquee – Tulsa, OK
12/02/2009 – Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
12/03/2009 – The Sets – Tempe, AZ
12/04/2009 – The Key Club – Hollywood, CA
12/05/2009 – The Jumping Turtle – San Marcos, CA
12/06/2009 – DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA
12/07/2009 – Satyricon – Portland, OR
12/08/2009 – Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
12/10/2009 – Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom – Denver, CO
12/11/2009 – Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
12/12/2009 – Reggie’s Rock Club – Chicago, IL
12/13/2009 – Station 4 – St Paul, MN
12/14/2009 – Blondie’s – Detroit, MI
12/15/2009 – Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
12/16/2009 – Gramercy Theater – New York, NY w/ Black Anvil

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