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By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 12:51 AM

Tanks For The Memories! Marduk And Incantation Amongst Others From Their Respected Panzer Division Invade Mavericks, Ottawa, Canada, September 1, 2017

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Photos By Andrew Depedro Charlton

Not gonna lie to any of the death/black metal folks reading this review here: My perception of this particular gathering of the tr00est of the tr00 was based on the video for METALLICA’s “ManUNkind”. You’ve all seen this video in some form or another, much as you may despise the band in all forms over the past 29 years or so: Black metal band with members in their early 20’s with illegible logo takes the stage complete with standard uniform of bullet belts, ripped jeans and corpse paint, the stage adorned with an array of severed pigs’ heads on spikes, the frontman swaying back and forth like a birch tree caught in a hurricane, then cutting open his wrist mid-song and spraying the audience with his blood.....I’ve always said that “ManUNkind” will do to black metal the same way that NEW ORDER’s “Touched By The Hand Of God” video - also 29 years old - did to glam metal in visual form for better or worse: Make the subject matter, upon having looked in the mirror, say to itself “....we’ve got some obvious proverbial trappings in our genre that we seriously need to address”.

Luckily, I’m of the firm belief that stereotypes often set themselves up to be challenged, ridiculed - and ultimately, brought down. For I saw nothing of the sort as the Scandinavian Panzer Division rolled into town on the first of the month. Nor did I see any hint of rumored Antifa protests that had been believed to be congregating upon the show, reminding folks that only heavy metal will turn the avid impressionable teenager into a hatemongering Third Reich hellspawn; only the music of Beyonce can save you!

I’m here to say otherwise as someone who was in the crowd that night and, as such, the only hand salutes I saw in the air had the pinky and ring fingers extended upwards. And here’s a recap of the array of bands who earned those tossed goats.

Normally, when a band opens its show with the announcement that this would be their very first live performance, a proverbial red flag admittedly goes up in the back of my mind as to how the quality of the music would be. This was the case with local novice death dealers GLAND at first as they took the stage for a good 25 minutes of old school death, grind and whatever else they can play that’s about two minutes long. Opening with new song “Postmortem Prolapse” (aren’t all of their songs really new anyway as this was their first live show?), the quartet fronted by Zac Murray (of DOMINATION/EXTREMUS fame because this definitely wasn’t his first-ever live show) tear through their setlist with rabid fury. Sure, a string breaks and a guitar battery suddenly runs out of juice, but does a band’s first live performance always go as planned? Besides, you can’t fault a band with song titles like “Pyrophillic Consumption”, “Deterioration Of Flesh” and “Fecal Waste Deposit”. The audience certainly didn’t as the circle pit took shape by the time the aforementioned third song started. They even played a blistering cover of “Eaten” by BLOODBATH which should’ve been dedicated to the two pizza slices I devoured before their set. But by the punishing closer “Chainsaw Epsiotomy” the crowd were well-fed with a steady diet of the best local brutal death/splattercore this side of the best medical transcription form ever written. Keep dishing it out for the masses to put down our fat necks, gentlemen!


DISSENTIENT are the next band to claim the stage as their set hovers between tracks from their debut album Black Hole Machine and their most recent opus The Archillet. The local progressive tech-metal quartet open their set with “Automaton Shift” and proceed to entertain the masses with their brand of introspective high-volume noodling. It’s the tight unit of guitarists Phill Campbell and Max Chapell which make up the bulk of the intrinsic and rapid yet equally melodic nature of the band’s music; it’s not very often that a progressive death metal band can cite JOURNEY amongst their regular influences of bands like DECAPITATED, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and SOILWORK. Yet don’t expect any happy “Don’t Stop Believin’” style material from a band with blistering songs such as “Destination Nowhere”, “Oblivium” and “Parasitic”. In fact, Phill Campbell’s gritty bellowing voice should have long banished any assumptions that he’s a future contender for Arnel Pineda’s crown anytime soon. That said, DISSENTIENT’s name is in reference to someone being in opposition to a majority so it’s always good to see a band think outside of the cramped moshpit and create music that challenges them as well as their listeners.


Local death metal bruisers ACCURSED SPAWN have slimmed down significantly since the last time I can recall seeing them. They’d started as a quartet back in 2010 and some 7 years and three studio EP’s later, they’ve forged on as a trio and appeared to have pilfered Chick Corea’s touring ensemble for their new bassist Wei, who joined back in mid-2016. He looks completely out of place at first glance when he’s alongside frontman/guitarist Luke and drummer Jay, but once the opening chords of “Sedate To Mutilate” are thrown down, it’s hard to imagine the band without his sharp bottom-end groove afterwards. Other tracks such as “Burned Into Sterility”, “Devoid Of Conscience” and “Dismember The Informant” continued to pay proper homage to the classic death/gore lords such as NECROPHAGIST and CANNIBAL CORPSE. The crowd, naturally, are already doing battle with each other in the pit by the end of the set. As they say in the serial killer business: If they’re not bleeding out by the third performance, you’re not trying hard enough or something. And ACCURSED SPAWN look to be in for the kill for the long run.


The local CanCon segment of the show having ended, it’s time for LA-based death metal slashers ABYSMAL DAWN to rise and shine. Opening with “Human Obsolescence”, the quartet show no letting up as they jam out several choice cuts from their four-album discography, particularly from 2014’s Obsolescence. It looks to be a perilous task at first to keep the momentum of the local crowd going as further songs such as “Rapture Renowned”, “Loathed In Life”, “Servants To Their Knees” and the closing crusher “The Inevitable Return Of Darkness” almost seem to blend into one another, but the frequent chants of frontman/guitarist Charles Elliott to “keep this fucking pit going!” continued to be obeyed by all. That, and Elliott as well as guitarist Vito Petroni doubling up on the riffs and the sonic distortion ensured that by the time the stage returned - inevitably - to darkness to give the next band time to set up, the crowd kept clamoring for more. All in a day’s work otherwise for one of the members of the new breed in the forefront of modern day death metal.


Straight from the mean streets of Johnstown, Pennsylvania by way of NYC would be INCANTATION stepping up to claim their righteous place on the stage. That’s right after they’ve done their completely unplanned homage to Glen Campbell as the dulcet tones of “Rhinestone Cowboy” emanates from the PA during soundcheck, to the confusion of some of the audience members gathered around the front of the stage. Great performance aside, I’m still trying to figure out what genre these guys are supposed to fit in following the first song of the evening from them - a slow-paced version of “Rites Of The Locust” from their latest disc Profane Nexus which kicks in midway from a doom-laden behemoth into...well, literally sounding like BEHEMOTH in parts. It sets the tone for the rest of their performance and while they have select elements of doom, death and even some old school in their sound, I’m usually figuring out the signal for when the music gets faster and when it slows down again for the sake of minor trivial consistency if nothing else. Don’t get me wrong here: INCANTATION do what they do so awesomely well no matter which of the three genres they master; it’s just probably to my untrained ear that they seem to build up so much momentum at one point that they leave much suspense to their next move. Will a breakdown happen next? Guitar solo? Cue for the Wall Of Death to take place? It ends up being none of the above and midway through the set, the crowd are more focused on the demonic vocals of guitarist/frontman John McEntee belting out the lyrics of doom/death monsters such as “Christening The Afterbirth” and “Omens To The Altar Of Ethos”, their heavy-as-fuck riffs bearing down upon the hapless crowd like a 1000-pound weight - on each individual’s head. And going on at least three decades of their own doom/death metal magic, INCANTATION can both walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Gotta say that I felt drawn towards the chanting hordes.....


Finally, to close the night and having travelled the furthest to get to the show would be Norrkopping, Sweden’s local sons done good-er, tr00 a.k.a. MARDUK as they open their set with “Frontschwein” and “The Blonde Beast”. Thoughts during those songs ranged from “their guitarist plays so fast I can barely get a proper pic of him in the frame” to “should I have renamed my Full Metal Jackie appreciation page The Blonde Beast instead or would KLOS take offence?”. Hardly the twisted hatemongering thoughts of the average MARDUK fan that the music apparently invokes according to the Antifa crew - had they been at the show as rumored. Which they weren’t. And had they been, current frontman Daniel “Mortuus” Rosen was more interested in riling up the crowd to get the pit going and flash the horns than to be concerned about his band’s detractors. Granted, songs like “Christraping Black Metal”, “Souls To Belial” and the killing closing number “The Black Tormentor Of Satan” aren’t for many of the faint at heart but respect to a band that can keep playing at such a rapid pace for over a quarter century. Guitarist/founding member Evil may have a ridiculous stage moniker but his blistering playing is definitely serious business especially by the standards of “Panzer Division Marduk” when his riffs really do emote a crushing, dominating presence. Bassist Devo is just as proficient with four strings as he was with six strings before exchanging instruments in 2004. And drummer Fredrik Widigs may appear grim and brutal, but he’s got the happiest feet in the world of triggered blast beats this side of Gene Hoglan. Combine those talents together and you’ll understand why MARDUK’s live shows have always made ‘em something to babble on about over the past quarter century.

Thanks to CHORD Productions and Mavericks for making this show happen!



  • “Frontschwein”
  • “The Blonde Beast”
  • “Of Hell’s Fire”
  • “Materialized In Fire”
  • “The Levelling Dust”
  • “Throne Of Rats”
  • “Cloven Hoof”
  • “To The Death’s Head True”
  • “Souls For Belial”
  • “Wartherland”
  • “Legions”
  • “Wolves”
  • “Christraping Black Metal”
  • “Panzer Division Marduk”
  • “The Black Tormentor Of Satan”

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