The most blasphemous band in the world conquered Belgrade once again!
I really can not remember how many times I have seen Marduk live. I clearly remember only their last show in Budapest (Frontschwein: 2016 Europa 4). And I remember it well, cause I was travelling 9 hours from Belgrade to Budapest (378 km), hardly found club, missed local support, slept in the tram on the way back to hotel and missed the station, walked back to hotel in the middle of the night… That’s life!
History repeats, just, this time, I was in my hometown, late cause somehow Belgrade looks like nuclear bomb just dropped on it, public transportation looks like… Caned sardines. I almost missed Attic, I slept in the bus on my way back home, but this time I woke up right on time.
Everyone who knows me, knows I am trouble maker. Wherever I go, whatever I do, there must be some problem. So it was this time. But later…
When I was checking myself on guest list and taking photo pass, someone in the hall surprisingly said: “The show already started!” No way! The sound was perfectly clear, so it was hard to believe the band is already at the stage. And it was!
First shock: club was overcrowded! Usually, in Belgrade, fans do not come on time, they are late and venues are empty till headliner hits the stage. Besides, Dom omladine has two venues. Marduk, it seems, should play in bigger one, not the small club, but…
The nightmare of 156 cm high (short) girl (read me) is to be anywhere else but in front line. In the small clubs, there is no photo pit, so you have to balance like a cat on the hot tin roof. Handle equipment, fight with people, defend from people in moshpits, and of course headbang. Luckily, I have rich history behind, and multitasking is my specialty. With few accidents here and there. And the first one: since I could not reach the front line, I had to change lenses. The cap fell, and… “Excuse me, sir, pardon me ma’am…” The charm it seems I have, so sound engineer with flashlight has found my cap, and my camera was ready!
Attic were on the stage. But it seems I am allergic to church and everything connected with church, so smell of incense, was killing me. Instead of getting closer to stage, I was step by step further from it. Just in case. Speaking of the stage appearance… The guys have concept, they have attitude, they are skilled, they interact with fans… Candles, reversed cross, corpse paint… There is only one King and his name is Diamond!
After a real short break, Valkyrja was on stage. It seems most of fans (female) were there only to see/hear Valkyrja. Now, I am step closer to the stage, but still on distance, just in case. And, yes! Smoke machine! I still feel the consequences of inhaling that smoke at SepticFlesh few weeks ago, I will pass it this time.
Front line was fulfilled with girls. Covered with make up, little suspicious for black metal show (I have seen some eyelashes that looks like toilet brush), dressed in… Something… Some mix of styles… I give up!
It seems guys were standing by the side and waiting for Marduk. Lights were total nightmare for photographers. Plus smoke machine. Inferno! Sound, again, was great, and guys were at high level. And my accident number 2. At some point, girls were kind enough to let me in front line to take some pics. One pick flew over my head, and, miracle… Guy got it, and did not give it to any girl who was desperately screaming in front line. Another one hit me in my forehead, bounced and got back on stage. Don’t get me wrong, if Marduk would hit me in the head with whatever they want, I wouldn’t complain. Valkyrja pick… Well, nothing missed.
I can say I expected more from Valkyrja. Again, don’t get me wrong, they had great performance, but something was missing. When I found out what, I will let you know. Maybe I was expecting too much?
I was kind enough to give set list to one of those girls, but forgot to take a pic, so fans of Valkyrja, if you were not in Belgrade last night, sorry… I have no idea what they were playing.
Right on time, Swedish legends, Marduk! I have to praise organizers, because lately they respect schedule. Ten or fifteen years ago, concerts would start around midnight, so I was often going from the concert to University or later at work. Now, I can easily catch the bus, go home, take a shower, take a nap and go to work.
I can’t say I am Marduk′s fan since the beginning of time, since I was 11 years old when the band was formed, and discovering sweet, melodic and glam metal. Black metal came in my life couple of years later. But one thing I know. The band always fascinated me by, let′s say, myths and legends. So many stories I have red, so many documentaries I have seen, and some things will remain mystery. Of course, lyrics theme, specially based on Third Reich and World War II are the big plus.
After a short intro, Mortuus hit the stage. “Panzer Division…” “Panzer Division…” It seemed he would not start if he wasn′t sure each person in the venue will answer: “Marduk!”
Now, I am in front line. The mystery we all had is, should we photograph only three songs, as usual, or… I saw my colleagues were laving after first three songs. Stuff clearly indicated that photographing and recording even with phones is over. I was ready to put camera back in the bag, but I got opposite reaction from the stage. Thumb up, and it seems I got a permission to take as much pics as I want to. Later, my friend, photographer, joined me, while all others were somewhere in the back. I can say I am honored any time bands recognize my passion for metal. Or they just pity small girl in the front line, on black metal gig, with blonde hair, without raccoon make up and dressed in black? Once, wise man (I will only give you a hint who I am talking about) from W.A.S.P. told me: “I know who is true, who is fake. I have seen so many girls on the shows, and not so many fans among them. And that is why I am drinking beer with you.”
Back to Marduk… Mortuus is the beast on the stage, his energy is infectious, he hypnotizes the mass. He knows what to do so each fan will bring him positive feedback. Than, the venue can exploded. “Baptism By Fire” and we are still back in cult album from 1999. Mortuus was clearly… Mad as hell, I would say. Something was wrong with monitoring, so what to do? Kick it few times? Change the mike? Yeah! Problem solved and… “Warewolf”, and now I am in problem: tacking pics, headband, sing… Everything! There is only one life!
Back to the past again and “Of Hell′s Fire”… Song by song, chaos, extreme heath and we are all close to pass out. Before the concert, I had a training, I can tell you I didn′t sweat that much. Mortuus was pouring his head with water, and while headbanging, mix of water and sweat at least saved us in front of him. Thanks!
Few more songs and “The Blonde Beast”, maybe one of my favorites from bands′ new era. Overall, if I count well, fourteen songs, and at the end “The Black…”
Since the lights were blinding, I couldn′t see, but I heard hell of a drummer. Devo, in his style, real gentleman, would never throw pick to nobody’s head. He will give it to your hand. At the other hand, band mastermind, Morgan seems to be a shy guy and didn′t interact with fans too much.
I have already said I have no idea how many times I have heard Marduk before, and now I am too tired to dig through my tickets. Anyway, I was never satisfied with set list. And I never will. Why? Cause hardly they will play my favorite song of all times: “Dracul va Domni Din Nou in Transilvania”. But I hope… Someday… Somewhere…
I′m sorry if this report was more column, but you have to understand me. I am old, I am girl, I am blond, I am tired… And I am already packing my bags, leaving to Budapest where Suffocation and Belphegor are waiting…