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After numerous failed attemps at recapturing the greatness and glory or their pre Nightwing album days through several studio albums and live ones, the band has done at best they could with their new dvd Funeral Marches and Warsongs. Comprised of two ten set live shows, a raw feeling shorter set in Germany, music videos and extra footage, this Marduk release doesn't get them the good new material they need to recharge the band, but it does show the band is still great live and has potential.
April 9th 2003, Paris France
The first live preformance on this dvd is in Paris Francee. Of the two main live shows for the dvd, this one has the best intenisty from the crowd. Within minutes of Marduks opener Blackcrowned the band delivers and the crowd responds. Many fans go on stage and headbang and get into the music. For dvds fans can get in the way of a bands preformance, but Marduk embraces the crowds energy and uses it to their advantage. Moments when a fan goes on stage and holds Legion's hand in the air for power make this preformance even better. I found there were few times when a fan was on stage and totaly out of place (ex this lady landed on stage bewtween songs was able to do nothing). The other big attraction of this preformance and difference from the Poland show is that the camera isn't as in love with Legion. For most of the show in Poland the camera focuses on Legion, very little with the rest of the band. But for this show, the shots are much better alloted. Although, naturally, the majority of the shows are of Legion, about 40%, the rest of the band is better represented, except for Emil Dargutinovic (the drummer), who is all but forgotten. The remaining 60% of the shots are divided thusly, Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson (Guitar)-20%, B.War (bass)-20%, crowd and Emil-10% each. With this, the band is better represented, but still not done quite right. For in a live show, if you are there, you see the whole band preform as a machine, or a unit, you wouldn't see just Legion or just B.War, you would see Marduk. But for jugding this by dvd standards, its pretty good since most metal dvds ignore all but the frontmen. The paris live show on this dvd is the one to watch if your into crowd particpation.
April 5th 2003, Katowiche Poland.
Marduk's preformance in Poland is better than there preformance in Paris. In poland Marduk plays more intensly and has more room to preform. It seems the entire band is putting more effort into the preformance at this show and I believe its because they have more control over their stage. For this show the band is left alone on stage and able to do things how they please. Legion will place the mic into the crowd when he feels its the best time to do so, and everytime it gets a great response. Legion also seems more apt to screaming and yelling out of song or during non vocal parts to get the crowd going, like "FUCK YEAH!" and the classic "ARGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!". B.War and Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson definatly show more energy and headbang more. Musically they play just as well as they did in Paris, which is great. They don't play with the polished sound of the studio, but they don't play too sloppy as to make the songs inchoherant. They combine the great guitar and drum work of the studio, and give it a raw live feel. Which is exactly how a metal band should preform live. People went to this show and bought this dvd to see Marduk live and raw, not polished and boring. The preformance musically and physically is great, the band delivers and does't stop till the show is over. With great preformances of their songs this show is watchable over and over again.
The Poland show egdes out the Paris show by a bit.
August 7 2003 Party San Bad Berka, Germany
This is more like bonus footage to me, its just 4 songs, non linear at that too. That is to say they are 4 live songs from the show, but they are not done in the order they appear on the dvd. Or the editing is just horrible and they decided to fade in and out between songs. If this were not done these 4 songs would feel more like a show rather than bonus footage. Again Marudk here puts on a great show which almost rivals the Paris and Poland show, but having it being filmed with sub par equipment, it just seems like a good bootleg. The camera isn't sharp nor is the audio crisp. But the bands great preformance doens't make watching this short show a bore, and I can find a few things about this show to make me want to watch it again, guest vocalist, diferent songs than the Paris and Poland shows..etc. Not a band show or prefromance by Marduk at all, but the editing and quality limit the representation of the show on dvd.
What a metal dvd really comes down to is how well the band preforms, and I as I mention, Marduk dominates from frist song to last on all their shows. Despite minor editing problems on the Germany show, and the Camera's love affair with Legion during the Poland show, this is one hell of a dvd because Marduk puts on a great preformance and have total domination for each song. The band puts their live intensity and rawness into every song making them more than the studio ones. Their physical movements have hatred, intesnity, and grace, combing all three at once a few times. Its what you want out of a live preformance. I would rate it higher if Marduk would play a 15-20 song set, they have the material, the longer set would make the live show seem more epic. The shows at times seem over right after they started.