Chris Loomis

Marduk / 1349 @ House of Blues – Sunset – 6/19/2012

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Black Metal heavyweights Marduk from Sweden and 1349 from Norway brought their blasphemous musical style, corpse paint and combat boots to The House of Blues in Los Angeles, CA on Tuesday June 19. This marked the second to last US date of the current Serpent Sermon Tour 2012. Support acts Weapon and Withered primed the LA Sermon attendees with a heavy dose of extreme metal to get the night off to a blazing start.

1349 not having played in the US since late 2010 was playing the support role to Marduk on this tour. Band Members Ravn (vocals), Archaon (guitar) and Seidemann (bass) recruited Job for A Cowboy drummer Jon Rice (The Charn) for this tour in place of longtime 1349 and Satyricon drummer Frost. 1349 hit the stage about 9:30pm and slaughtered LA with a blistering set that immediately started an old-school circle pit of crazed 1349 diehards. A dimly lit stage with lots of red spotlights set the perfect mood for the 45 minutes of Norwegian black metal that ensued. With his trademark white and black corpse-paint and spiked gauntlets singer Ravn thrashed around the stage belting out the dark vocals while the rest of the band (also in corpse-paint and black metal-esque attire) cranked out the innovative sound that is 1349. Although I am sure longtime fans missed seeing (and hearing) Frost behind the drum kit, Jon Rice nailed the blast beats and double bass in fine fashion – I’m sure Frost would be proud.

Headliners Marduk hit the stage with a vengeance and immediately singer Daniel “Mortuus” Rostén was a hit with the crowd with his intense vocal delivery and passionate stage presence. The stage was periodically covered in fog which along with the flashing lighting made for a perfect ambiance for Marduk to deliver their 60 minute Serpent Sermon. Like 1349, Marduk was guised with the white and black corpse-paint in traditional black metal style. Marduk is touring in support of their most recent release – 2012’s Serpent Sermon and treated the crowd to a few songs of this release as well as some of their most controversial, dark, evil tracks from their 10 plus back catalogue of studio albums. Guitarist Morgan “Evil” Steinmeyer Håkansson, bass player Magnus “Devo” Andersson and skin-basher Lars Broddesson performed an over-the-top energetic performance that surely put the Marduk faithful into a moshing frenzy.

A fantastic pairing of extreme black metal, Marduk and 1349 are a match made in hell and together deliver a great night of intense music that may leave you sleepless with haunting nightmares. Although this tour is now history, look out for either of these bands to hit your town and make it a point to catch their live show !

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