BROOKLYN, NY—Recently, I was granted the opportunity to catch a band play in a genre I otherwise would have never given the time of day to had it not been for my internship here at The Aquarian. The group I went to see, which I had never heard of prior, was the Swedish black metal band, Marduk.

While my girlfriend and I walked out of the subway station and towards North 6th St., we started to see some rowdy looking people dressed in all black, and knew immediately where they were going. Neither of us had any idea of what to expect out of the show, either on the crowd’s end or from the band. I had very high hopes that there would be something special about Marduk separating them from the rest.

Finally the time came, and these veterans of the trade walked onto the stage with their faces painted white with black around their eyes. I certainly am no stranger to this kind of music and I was still wondering why these bands paint their faces from the last black metal show I had experienced. In any case, they began their set holding nothing back, as they blasted through their fans with their own brand of brutality. Being that I was a bit unfamiliar with the music of Marduk, all I could do throughout the set was kick back and experience something new.

The crowd was a pretty decent size and they all seemed to be completely devoted to the band, which is always nice to see. It is unfortunate that there was poor lighting in the venue, making it difficult for me to get a good look at what the pit was like. When I was able to see what was going on shortly thereafter, I could see a pit that was filled with black-wearing, Satan-worshiping violent individuals, who could do nothing but slam into each other and bang their heads to the music. Aggression of this magnitude is always a comforting feeling for me at any show, of course. There were certain elements of Marduk that captivated me and allowed me to view them as different from all of the other black metal bands that I did not like so much.

What made Marduk stand out the most was that, throughout their songs, regardless of the pounding—which consisted of loud, double bass, drum beats thrown in my face—I was still able to hear the actual riffs that these guys were playing. Not only could I hear what they were, but I was able to hear their musicianship and their chemistry instead of one big sloppy mess. The band left me with the moral that I shouldn’t stereotype any music genre, and that there will always be someone out there to surprise me.

After the set, we slowly made our way to Bushwick Ave., where we would be spending the night, and I kept thinking about how Marduk found a way for me to be a bit more open-minded with a style of music I usually have no taste for. Although it may not have been my favorite show of all time, Marduk most definitely put on a very memorable performance. Maybe now when I come across a band wearing this so-called “corpse paint” on their faces while performing, I just might stick around for a bit to catch their set.


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