MARDUK, NACHTMYSTIUM & more bring the plague to Minnesota
By Ryan Buege
After being held off of the MAYHEM's Metal Injection-sponsored Blackenedfest tour due to visa issues last year, MARDUK finally returned to North America last month for a Metal Injection-sponsored tour of their own! Now coming to the country under the banner of their U.S. Plague Tour, the conditions in Minnesota have turned much colder, snowier, and harsher since those scheduled dates in July – yet I guess the frigid atmosphere is all the more appropriate for a show featuring some of the some of the finest names in modern black metal. The recent release of MARDUK's bleak and bludgeoning new album Wormwood was surely a drawing point for most of those in attendance, and there's no doubt that everyone who attended left satisfied by the loud, oppressive explosion of hate that MARDUK unleashed.
NACHTMYSTIUM was also making their first appearance in the Twin Cities in several years (after canceling separately scheduled shows over the last couple of years with ENSLAVED, with OPETH, and with THE HAUNTED!). Though Station 4 is not usually the greatest venue for sound dynamics, it thankfully wasn't a problem for NACHTMYSTIUM. Blake chose to play a set that steered away from the band's densely layered psychedelic jams and focused more on the headbang inducing rockers from recent releases such as the Doomsday Derelicts EP. Fuck the BM traditionalists; if you arent' bobbing your head along to the catchy cadence of "Hellish Overdose", then there is seriously something wrong with you (personally, I thought the new songs were the highlight of their set).
The Philadelphia based thrashers in MANTIC RITUAL provided a stark contrast to the billing. It was very impressive to see them take control of the room, especially considering that they were the second band on the bill and the only one that wasn't attempting to evoke the grim and frostbitten. Apparently they were playing with some new members, but I definitely couldn't tell. They shredded through a no-bullshit set of high quality thrash that handily had the entire venue pumping their fists and grunting along with hearty appreciation.
MERRIMACK is an underground extreme black metal band from France, and their brutal set of blasting blackness succeeded in psyching me up for the rest of the night to come. Not much else to say about them… Well, maybe except for "Hail Satan!".
I was able to capture videos and photos from my place within the crowd. Check them out below.
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