December 5th, 2009 The Mainstage, Ramona CA.
Namru_Xul made a trip down for this one and a memorable one it ended up being once we began slamming whiskey and coke in the parking lot to mentally prep ourselves.
Scored tickets for extra cheap from the Vesterian guys that were slightly annoyed at probably losing a couple bucks on offering extra discounts on them... But Xul does not pay market value for shows.
Missed opener Sergulath, no big deal.
Vesterian was actually a pleasant surprise, a fairly chaotic display of black metal that is a hell of a lot more effective live than they are on their myspace offerings, because no, I haven't bought a fukking demo.
Ruins Ov Abaddon, my second time seeing them, the first as they opened for Gorgoroth in Tijuana the year prior... what can I say, other than at least they no longer use the pvc pipe inverted cross. Basically pretty dull Dissection worship, which means they have a crowd amongst the average metal herd, but for any listener that doesn't get hard to the name Nödtveidt it goes over about as effectively as watching any band in corpse paint that has no atmosphere of evil. Yeah, that dull.
The openers done, Namru and myself walked up front and center for Merrimack, and were the only two actually headbanging to their violence. MUCH better live than recorded, they came across as something almost as violent as Antaeus, but not quite there.. Viva France as their vocalist screamed at the lazy nerds too frightened to come up front "WHAT THE FUKK ARE WE PLAYING FOR?!".. The thinwimps hid the faces in shame. Regardless of this Merrimack completely blew me away and killed my neck for the rest of the night. Oh to be 16 again.
Black Anvil came out next and I wish I could remember more about them other than they seemed to be a blend of all the flavors of the month in sludge, melodic, bm, whatever.. About as dull as your average m:3 nerd. Way too many smiles.
Mantic Ritual. Trying to promote yourselves as the fun part of the show is pretty useless. Stale retro thrash from a band obviously on the bill to lure in dumb teens. My second time seeing these wastes as well. Pity they didn't meet the fate that Warbringer did a few weeks prior.
Nachtmystium, got up front for these guys as well, headbanging to what effect we could.. They've gotten quite a bit of attention and acclaim as time has gone on, and for good reason. One hell of a live act that really covers it bases.. Assassins being the album that really brought them attention and being represented well in the setlist. Great live presence almost bordering on rockstardom, but this is the price to be paid for bands looking to grow out of their genre and into something more. I could jerk them off and praise their sound, but really, you probably know what they sound like already... Just know they pull it off well in a live forum.
Our energy nearly spent, the kids crawled out of the woodwork for Marduk, making a half empty venue filled all of a sudden. Where had these people been earlier? Waiting for their death apparently.. While Marduk has gotten into a pattern of releasing albums that are decent, not spectacular (mailing em in' ) their live show is truly something to behold... and oh holy fukk what a beast they are live. Blast beat heavy as hell, their bass drum pops off like a machine gun as Arioch / Mortuus screams out war commands at the crowd. Forcing, DEMANDING their involvement. Bodies and limbs flying all over.. akin to Hezbollah in an Israeli disco. The full era got represented well. Giving credit each step along the way. Just when you think you're about done, along comes that gun again and gets the crowd going some more. Security was earning their money for sure. And you know what? That's all I really ask for. If you promote your music on warlike chaos, be able to reproduce that chaos live. Marduk not only succeeds at this, they destroyed my expectations. An essential band to see live, as I gained a newfound appreciation for a band that may have stagnated on their album releases, but has no problem breathing life into them personally. Fukking Bravo.