Given how important live concerts are to the black metal experience, one would think that there would be a lot more live albums by black metal artists. But in fact, the majority of black metal bands have not provided live albums. Marduk, thankfully, have provided more than one live album; Warschau is the third live release from these Swedish black metal veterans. Warschau is the German name for the city of Warsaw (in Polish, Warsaw is called Warszawa), and this 74-minute CD was recorded at the venue Proxima in Poland's largest city on September 17, 2005, during a tour of Europe. Marduk have had their share of lineup changes over the years; on Warschau, the 2005 lineup consists of Mortuus, aka Arioch (of Funeral Mist fame) on lead vocals, founder Morgan Håkansson on guitar, Magnus "Devo" Andersson on bass, and Emil Dragutinovic on drums. Some longtime Marduk fans will debate how Mortuus/Arioch's sinister-sounding rasp compares to the sinister-sounding rasp of Legion (who Mortuus/Arioch replaced), but the fact is that Marduk's personnel changes haven't prevented them from giving hardcore fans what they want -- and on Warschau, that means 74 minutes of furious, bare-knuckled bombast with plenty of odes to war and blasphemy. Few surprises occur, and this Warsaw show doesn't offer a lot of variety. But what Warschau lacks in experimentation, it pretty much makes up for with raw excitement and plenty of adrenaline. One person whose efforts must be acknowledged is the album's engineer, David Caracandas, who has a lot to do with the fact that Warschau so vividly captures the intensity of a Marduk concert (imagine what the mosh pit must have looked like at this show). Despite its predictability -- or perhaps because of it -- Warschau is a disc that hardcore Marduk enthusiasts will be glad to have in their collections.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson