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The Funeral Was About To Begin - 70%

lamb666, May 4th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Inferna Profundus Records (Limited edition, Digipak)

I love Marduk. Although I prefer Plague Angel and everything since, I still have a lot of love for the classic era of the band. Recorded in 1993 this live album only features songs released before Opus Nocturne. This is not a major drawback as later live albums properly capture later material. The main motivator for me buying this was the inclusion of classic Marduk vocalist Joakim Af Gravf. Having performed admirably on the bands classic earliest works it seemed fitting that he would be immortalised on a live album also.

The choice of setlist here is undeniably great for that era. As with a lot of live albums from before 1995 the audio quality is less than stellar. A lot of the finer details of the songs are not very apparent. In places the music disappears into a hurricane like blur, the vocals get overpowered somewhat in parts and the subtle touches normally present in the guitar and bass parts is all but lost. Only the mighty snare drum is left to punctuate proceedings at times.

Luckily what this recording lacks in detail and clarity it makes up for in pure unrelenting savagery. It is interesting to hear the band in the throes of second wave of black metals initial period. Everything sounds more frantic and more viscous than other recordings. Tried and trusted live favourites such as Wolves, Dark Endless and Burn My Coffin take on a whole new character, a youthful exuberance if you will.

If you cannot bear lo-if recordings then there are better Marduk live albums for you. This stands as a monument to an important era of the band and almost makes you feel like you were at the warts and all show. Curious that they unearthed this recording now, but not unwelcome.