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Doesn’t time go fast? I mean it seemed like yesterday when Marduk began their crusade to cleanse the world of Christianity, but these black metal elites have managed to stay alive after a full fifteen years of mayhem. So to celebrate, our friends of the unlight give us “Warschau,” a live recording taken in 2005 featuring over sixty minutes of blackened texture. While it does suffer from slight issues, this cool live release certainly manages to provide an entertaining listen on several levels. Playing black metal for such a long time might take its toll, but Marduk hands out the nifty “Warschau” to celebrate a milestone in an enjoyable manner of live destruction regardless of something like age.
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way, shall we? Fifteen years of material should present a diverse set list during a live show, but “Warschau” mildly suffers from the burdensome addition of Marduk’s newer stuff holding more ground than their oldies. Out of seventeen tracks from this 2005 recording, six anthems are used to promote 2004’s “Plague Angel” and three songs from 2003’s “World Funeral.” That’s quite a large chunk of space for only two records of material, and something tells me that marketing thing has a lot to do with it. I guess it’s cool how they forced in some tunes from “Those of the Unlight” with other classics, but that’s really all this set list has going for it.
Aside from that minor inconsistency, Marduk’s overall performance is noticeably good and rather professional. On an efficiency basis, our Satanic buddies sharply rip through these seventeen tunes at insane velocity and hit every note flawlessly. Song after song, this brutal squad launches right for the jugular and expels rapid riffs, furious blastbeats, and violent shrieks for all of us to indulge. It’s important to point out how Mortuuns’ voice accompanies the group’s older material quite warmly; yet he’s still lacks a bit in comparison to his previous counterparts, at least on a live basis. But at the end of the day, Marduk’s entertaining show leaves a nice taste in the mouth of whoever feasts upon on the “Warschau” entrée.
Also, the audio quality is surprisingly good for such a recording like “Warschau” as everything appears cloudless and balanced. All instruments and vocals are placed in the center of the record, which leads to a smooth sound of even chaos with Mortuuns’ shrieks over a constant shield of blastbeats and hyper-speed riffs. It’s actually quite cool to experience such a concert like this because it’s obviously furious, yet often decipherable; all thanks to the wonderful studio magicians!
I think Marduk’s fifteenth anniversary went over pretty well with a solid treat like “Warschau.” As a release, “Warschau” properly dissects Marduk’s history as a band whilst keeping the flaming atmosphere of their blackened firestorm scorching hot and ready to burn. Now be aware there are flaws present, but I wouldn’t say those minor boo-boos deter the overall concept of “Warschau” as a whole. It’s still a good live record nonetheless, and remains a very entertaining listen from multiple angles of musicianship, and Marduk’s pastime.
In order to celebrate the band’s 15th anniversary, Marduk decided to release their third live album to date. I can’t compare Warschau to the two previous live albums, Germania and Infernal Eternal, because unfortunately I have not had the privilege to obtain and listen to those two albums yet. Yet I’m sure I’m going to buy those albums because if Warschau is any indication of Marduk’s live tendencies, the previous two must be of excellent quality.
Here we have 17 tracks played live plus a bonus DVD containing six songs played live.
The CD part starts out with The Hangman Of Prague, just like Plague Angel does. In fact, since this was released only one year after Plague Angel it obviously focuses on that album more than on any other Marduk album. 6 tracks out of the total of 17 are off Plague Angel and it’s damn fine that way because that album is excellent.
Of course the rest of the tracks are very good as well, and amazingly even the oldest ones are played very professionally and not distorted from their original studio sound. This is even more impressive when considering the fact that all tracks except the ones coming from Plague Angel were originally done by Andreas Axelsson, Joakim Göthberg or the most long-lasting of Marduk’s vocalists, Legion. That said, Mortuus’ presence gives Marduk a new-found intensity and he seems more suited to this than Legion. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great vocalist on the albums he did but Mortuus is really a lot more intense.
Yet another quality of this live album is the absence of any audible flaws on any of the tracks performed. The blast beats are there, just as powerful as on the studio albums, the riffs are perfectly performed and so is the bass. The bonus DVD is on par with the rest of the album, showing a nice performance by the band and it’s an interesting addition to Warschau. The only complaint I might have with the DVD would be that out of the six tracks on it only one is absent from the main album. So it’s kind of the same thing twice, but it’s still a cool addition to the album, as seeing the band play is fun.
Anyway, in conclusion this is another great live release by Marduk and it should definitely belong in your CD collection. Especially if you’re a Marduk fan and even if you’ve never really listened to them but like black metal. Be it in the studio of on stage, Marduk will crush you.
In the history of hyper-speed black metal bands Marduk is clearly one of the standout ones. Here we have the live album for the celebration of 15 years of band existance. This album is in my ears superior to the previous live ones, the set is also longer than on Germania, most tracks are taken from the previous two studio albums.
First of all, the sound quality is excellent. The drums are the thing that hold Marduk together and there are few or even no audible technical mistakes at all. Guitars and bass are great, no doubt, but the band member that makes this release stand out is Mortuus. His voice does fit perfectly no matter what some fools say, and even if Legion was the singer of the "classic" lineup of Marduk, the new members replace the old ones without problems. Although Mortuus´ voice might not be the right one for songs like "Azrael" and "Slay the nazarene", which lowers the score a little bit, you just have to hear him screaming PANZER DIVISIOOON MAAARDUUUK to be stunned. Some songs of this album show their doomy side they brought on on their last albums beginning with "La grande danse macabre", some are filled with christraping speed and fistfucking strength.
The artwork is once again dedicated to the "black metal war machine" side of Marduk and reflects the artwork both of their earlier "Germania" live album and their classic "Panzer Division Marduk" record.
Overall, this record is one of the most powerful live recordings I have ever heard and truly a must if you dig Marduk or even if this band is unknown to you yet. BUY IT!
In comparison to Infernal Eternal, I liked this one better, mostly because of the fact that more songs were performed that I actually cared about, and they played a pretty long set for a live CD, unlike most bands, like stupid-sell-out-jerk-off-Emperor.
The quality of the sound is pretty good. Everything is decipherable except for the bass at some times. Emil is a great drummer and he usually manages to keep it interesting.
Guitars, however, are very... eh. In the studio, Morgan is a good guitarist. Live, Morgan is not as great of a guitarist. Anyone that has watched their Funeral Marches and Warsongs DVD has seen him screw up his playing before and it's embarassing.
But really, the greatest flaw with this CD is Mortuus. It's not that he is a bad vocalist by any means, but once you get to 'Azrael', you will realize that he wasn't meant to imitate Legion. All of the songs performed that aren't on the 'Plague Angel' CD are lacking because Mortuus just doesn't have the same "range" as Legion. Songs like 'Throne of Rats' and 'Blutrache'(my personal favorite) are awesome and perfect, but that's because Marduk seemed to adapt to Mortuus' vocals when they wrote new songs.
This is not at all a bad performance. It's just annoying at times. There is a very arena-like sound to the set, and Marduk keep you entertained.
With Satan and Victorious Weapons
Throne of Rats
The Hangman of Prague
The first thing you notice listening to this and also in the previous release 'Plague Angel' is the vocals. Mortuus is the new singer and I believe he is a perfect fit for the band. This is coming from someone who originally thought Legion was irreplaceable. When I heard that Legion and B.War were replaced I thought that this band was heading to extinction. Like most Marduk fans, we think of the band as Legion, Morgan, B.War and Fredrik. 3 of those 4 are gone and I was pissed because I felt that the band lost their identity. Upon listening to 'Warschau' I was blown away by Mortuus' (Arioch) vocals. He has such a deep, powerful voice that suits this band just right. He adds a more evil sound and when he speaks in between songs to the audience you'll hear what I mean. His delivery just as intense as Legion's but somehow he hits harder, his voice just simply packs more punch. The majority of the 17 tracks are from World Funeral and Plague Angel, which is fine with me since I liked both albums. The production is not as clean as the previous live album 'Infernal Eternal' but it's not a problem. One thing that amazes me is how tight the band are in concert. You rarely hear any sloppiness or mistakes from them. I didn't expect much after replacing 3 members, but I was surprised and if anything the band has stepped up a notch because Emil is a better drummer and Mortuus is a better frontman and vocalist than Legion. This is one of, if not the best live black metal act right now.