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MARDUK

Marduk - Photo by Denis Radacic
Marduk – Photo by Denis Radacic

Inquisition/The Furor

Amplifier Bar, Perth

Monday, January 12, 2015

Marduk and Inquisition are bands born from civil unrest. Both rising as the first wave of black metal drew to a close in the early ’90s, their origins blossomed in social chaos. While Inquisition drew from the turbulent paramilitary days of late-’80s Columbia, Sweden’s Marduk were stirred by the church-burnings and anti-Christian sentiment that drove so many of their musical counterparts in that era.

But now, over 20 years later, the two joined forces to hit Australian shores together – with their Perth stop not only the first for the tour, but also Inquisition’s debut in WA.

In an unexpected return, blackened death metal outfit The Furor made their first appearance in six years to mark the occasion. Coming off the back of their latest effort, Impending Revelation, the band’s first full length offering since 2011 not only signals a new dawn for the band, but also a few member additions to round out their live sound. Experiencing technical issues with Dizazter’s (drummer/vocalist) mic didn’t stop them from delivery a meaty set. Chopping between the dual attack of Warlock and Hellhound on guitars and Dizazter’s unrelenting assault on the skins, it wasn’t hard to hear why now was the time for resurrection for this longstanding local outfit.

The last time Seattle-based outfit Inquisition made it to Australia, they only hit interstate as part of the final Evil Invaders festival line-up. Luckily, it wasn’t too long before they decided to return with a new album in tow. And Obscure Verses For The Multiverse (2013), their major label debut, is definitely worthwhile. Although the anticipation to hear the fresh material was always there, what surprised was just how much they slayed – especially for a two-piece. Without a doubt the act of the night, the play between unmistakably diverse rhythms woven between memorable hooks and sheer raw power was hard to ignore.

“…Raise the chalice!” founder Dagon croaked from centre stage – making a man who is pint-sized in real life tower over the pit in the midst of Force Of The Floating Tomb from their most recent full length. Although their stage presence and dark charisma was undeniable, there was an element of cheek that toned down the serious vibe at times.

Marduk are no stranger to the Amplifier stage. Although they appeared at this very same venue not more than two years ago to celebrate their 12th recording, Serpent Sermon, the performances couldn’t be more different. While the 2012 show saw the band take it down a notch and revel in the slower melodies, of course with a few classics thrown in for measure, this gig they didn’t have a new album under their belts – their next offering, Frontschwein, pegged for release literally a few days after the Perth show.

As the band was taking the opportunity later in the tour to play classic albums, Panzer Division Marduk (1999) and Those Of The Unlight (1993), back-to-back interstate later in the tour – many were expecting a mash-up of the two. And the Swede’s did not disappoint. Dropping tracks like Christraping Black Metal with The Funeral Seems To Be Endless off their ’92 debut, they still command attention. But there was something missing – with each song rolling into the next with no reprieve. Using their set to work through all of their break-neck songs, the pace was kept at fever pitch for too long – leaving many gasping for air. Although they still pull a crowd, Marduk were not in their element – with punters dwindling towards the end.

JESSICA WILLOUGHBY