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Yeah this was one of my first handful of black metal CDs I manage to score. I lucked out, purchased it for $12 and went amongst my merry way back home from the record store. And I listened to it and thought it was great. I held it close to my chest for the first year or so, and then something happened. Over the years as I was gradually turned on to more bands and new different types of black metal, I somehow forgot about "Live In Germania". I didn't leave it on the CD rack collecting dust. I cleaned it off every once in a while and gave it a listen and then just lately something clicked; It's not the best.
Marduk are one of those bands that if you're 16, yeah you're going to fucking love no matter what. But after awhile the love turns sour and after realizing they've only put out maybe 1 or 2 albums worth a damn, you hold that old album in your hand and look down upon it like it just told you this horrible fucking secret like your dad jacking off to gay porno mags when you and your mom weren't around. Joking aside, it is good, but it doesn't hold up to the test of time.
For one, the guitar is so fucking thin-sounding. I expect that thin sound from a band like Horna who manage to make it sound great, but for Marduk it doesn't. Bass? There is no bass. Former bassist B.War(That name is so damn ghetto.) is practically non-existent. There's barely any fucking drums for the most part. What you hear is some clicky cricket type drums that makes the sound of when you're trying to bite your finger nail and when you bite down you hear that clipping noise. Kind of annoying. I mean you really don't even hear the bass drum. Former vocalist Legion is the ONLY clear thing and at some parts his vocals completely drown everything out. But, granted this is 1997 and live black metal albums weren't the rage then and this being Marduk's first attempt. Meh. It's decent.
Most of the material performed on "Live In Germania" is 1/2 of "Those of The Unlight", 1/4th of "Opus Nocturne", and 1/4th "Heaven Shall Burn" so you know you're going to get the best Marduk material. Again the not-so-good sound production just drops the level of enjoyment. The only thing this album manages to succeed is preserving the rawness of the music and Marduk before "Panzer Division". I mean I am not the biggest fan of Marduk, but back then they were one of the more extreme bands interviewed in Metal Maniacs back in the day. There are some humorous parts that I can't even listen to without laughing my head off. The beginning of the third track "The Black" where Legions starts screeching "LET JESUS FUCK YOU! LET JESUS FUCK YOU ! OOOOH LET JESUS BE FUCKED BY THE BLACK GODS OF THE WOODS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS!" before going into the song is worth the entire album alone.
Best tracks: "Sulphur Souls", "Wolves", "The Black", "Materialized In Stone", "Darkness it Shall Be", and "On Darkened Wings".
So this CD apparently marks a special milestone Marduk accomplished after acquiring their signature identity: they stopped sucking. Yea, laughter truly is the best medicine; that’s why Patch Adams could stomp our necks. Actually, Sweden hated Marduk’s stupidity so much, they looked at Germany and mused, “Take these idiots! We don’t want them!” Germany, being a little naive at the offer, decided it would be a good idea, because what bad could come out of a FREE black metal band, right? Well, they soon discovered why. Needless to say, “Live in Germania” is an atrocious effort. Showing various cuts from a German tour, this plod cannot do any right, as its issues are destructively placed and worshiped throughout poor tunes, and even poorer performances. Also, a few people have an idea Peter Tägtgren somehow does Marduk deserved justice because he’s their fill-in guitarist…not on this planet, dolts.
The symptom that interferes most often is actually their previous full-length records, mainly the risible “Heaven Shall Burn…When We Gathered.” Of course, that release marked the total manipulation of blast-orientated black metal, and since five songs carry these burdens, you can probably tell where this description is going. Cut after cut, thundering drums penetrate all decipherable objects while Legion screams like a retard, which says a lot about the production’s infiltration of instrumental balance. Hell, right after “The Black…” concludes, Marduk quickly ejaculates “Darkness It Shall Be” like there was no change in song. When I first heard that transition, I was completely convinced nothing had been altered, but it did, so I got fucked. That’s how much commonplace is put here.
Yet negatives continue flowing like a deep wound from Marduk’s awful showmanship. Legion’s shrieks are ghastly moans not yielding much praise, mainly because his vocals are so pathetic it’s like inviting a dying giraffe to randomly start rasping in your black metal band. The guitar playing is quite boring (when you can hear it, that is) because the group just sounds uninspired, and sometimes unserious. During a cleaner part of “On Darkened Wings” when only one guitar is intact, this deafening squeal from the second guitar emerges without any real meaning or purpose; indeed, this added noise is an error in playing, and it’s impossible to miss. Not only will Marduk bore you to death, they’ll actually screw up during a show, and damage your ears in the process. Bastards.
What can be said about Marduk’s first live album? Jeez, wish I knew what could send a video of yours truly shoving spoons in my eyeballs via a document, but that can’t be done, so just understand it’s redundant at best. Lackluster performances, terrible choice of material, and overblown production is just the start; a tedious effort not zapping any limbic systems into mania, which would have been nice, actually. If I were to have razors slicing my arms, wasps endlessly stinging my ass, a group of horses kicking my ass while those wasps poke it, and find myself raped by an obese woman during Ozzfest, it would probably be on par with “Live in Germania.”
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com
"Live In Germania" was the first of several live-albums released by MARDUK through the years, and was recorded in Germany during the Heaven Shall Burn Tour in 1996. This great-looking re-issue by Regain Records has had its name shortened to simply "Germania", and also contains a bonus-DVD containing the band's first concert outside Sweden, recorded in Oslo as early as in 1994.
As a retrospect on the first six years of their career, Germania is packed with early classics like “Sulphur Souls”, “Wolves Pt. 1 and 2”, and “Legion”, and therefore serves as a great introduction for fans unfamiliar with their pre-"Nightwing" work. The role of second guitarist on this tour was infamously filled by Peter Tägtgren, which makes this a unique recording for the die-hard fans. The sound-quality is raw and unpolished, which is the way a Black Metal live-recording should be, but still clean enough to give the feeling of a listenable live-setting. This rawness also strongly accentuates the pure force of MARDUK, brutalizing the audience in a purely ferocious rampage that ends in a great rendition of the DESTRUCTION classic “Total Desaster”.
The DVD is also worth taking note of, since it is a treat to see such a young MARDUK wreaking havoc on a Oslo-audience for 30 minutes during the culmination of the Black Metal controversy in Norway. The footage is filmed by someone who appears to be standing on the actual stage alongside the band, giving all of it a quite unique and involving feel. It's also quite clear that the band hasn't reached much fame or recognition yet, as what can be seen of the audience mostly watches in silence, only at times nodding their heads slightly, while the band is giving everything they've got on the tiny scene.
If you're a MARDUK fan who's looking to flesh out your collection, or just want to familiarize yourself with their early days, "Germania" is an excellent documentation of a band that has already solidified themselves as a powerful band in the studio, proving themselves to be of equal force on the stage. The selection of songs also makes it a great compilation of sorts, and if you already own the album this release might be worth checking out for the DVD alone.
(Online July 23, 2008)
Written for the Metal Observer
Live In Germania was the first live album from this respected Swedish BM band. It is totally crushing. Peter from Hypocrisy is the second guitarist here, and I also believe that he was asked to be the permanent second guitarist after this.
On this release, Marduk show that they can pull off live what they do in the studio. Hyperfast blast beats, fast guitar work, and insane vocals. A lot of classic songs are played here, including Wolves I and II, Sulphur Souls, Darkness It Shall Be, Legion, etc.
I don't know if any studio overdubs were done or not, but even so, these guys are devestating live. I saw them with Deicide in 2000 and they were intense, hateful, and totally brutal. They were as fast as on record, if not faster. If you want a live album that captures the intensity of the band on record, then this is it.
Live In Germania is the first official live album from Swedish Black Metal Masters Marduk. The album was recorded during the German leg of the Heaven Shall Burn Tour and as most of you Marduk fans know Peter Tagtgren of Hypocrisy plays on this recording as the second guitarist.
Alright let's get on with it shall we, 12 live tracks are featured on this recording and to be honest they have covered most of the defining moments of their career up unto this point including - Sulphur Souls, Materialized In Stone, Wolves Parts 1 & 2 and the like. However there where a couple of songs that are really cool that weren't on the album so I was a little disappointed but you can't please eveybody can you. The recording is really raw which I personally like but some of you may not ! Besides that Live In Germania is devastating !