Marduk - _Live in Germania_
(Osmose Productions, 1997)
by: Henry Akeley (8 out of 10)
The idea of black metal concert albums seems sort of weird to me, given black metal's supposedly clandestine and anti-social spirit. Thus, I was a little bit dubious about _Live in Germania_ before I actually listened to it. But now, I must say, I'm highly impressed by this. For one thing, the performances and production are both totally solid. The band blasts and thunders skillfully through just under an hour's worth of material, and the recording strikes a nice balance of clarity, power, and tangible live electricity. The song selection covers a good mix of new and old material, and it's especially cool to hear great old songs like "Wolves" and "On Darkened Wings" injected with extra on-stage intensity. ("Wolves" simply kills.) They even perform "The Black Goat..." from their notorious demo. In addition to these tracks, there are three songs from _Opus Nocturne_ and five from _Heaven Shall Burn_, while a cover of the Destruction classic "Total Desaster" closes out the album with a blast of pure, ass-kicking energy. The songs are nicely sequenced, too, with slower numbers like "Materialized in Stone" and "Draculi Va Domni..." providing contrast with the more hell-paced stuff. They may not be one of the most innovative bands in the black metal scene, but as this worthy recording demonstrates yet again, Marduk is definitely one of the most unrelentingly intense. Impressive.

(article published 12/8/1997)

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