Swedish black metallers MARDUK have issued a statement regarding their absence from the ongoing Blackenedfest North American tour, also featuring MAYHEM, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, CATTLE DECAPITATION and WITHERED.
The band writes: "The situation with MARDUK not having performed during the first week of Blackenedfest is due to Mortuus, the vocalist, not having received his visa yet.
"It is not a 'denied' visa. The band filed for a P-1 non-immigrant work visa, which is required for a band to play in the states. The visa was APPROVED by the United States Government's Homeland Security Office.
"Furthermore, as required, the band members each individually went to their visa appointments at the U.S. embassy in Stockholm for the standard interview, at which point the persons handling the band's applications informed the band that there was no further action needed and that they should expect their passports in the mail with the P-1 visa attached.
"Everyone in the band received theirs except Mortuus.
"The day before tour, while the rest of the band were at the airport awaiting to board their flights to the U.S., Mortuus returned to the embassy to inquire as to the location of his passport. At this point he was informed that he was missing one document in order to finalize the visa.
"No one in the band, nor the label, was made aware of this missing form. After we were made aware of this missing document, we provided the document to the Embassy in Stockholm and we are currently awaiting each day for the passport to be returned to Mortuus with the visa stamp. The embassy is aware of the urgency of this matter and we expect the band to join the tour in progress any day now.
"MARDUK are prepared to make up the shows they missed immediately after Blackenedfest ends. These dates will be announced upon the band's arrival in the U.S.
"We are staying on top of the situation each day and hope to announce the arrival of the band soon."
Remaining Blackenedfest dates:
May 29 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
May 30 - Tempe, AZ - Clubhouse
May 31 - San Diego, CA - House Of Blues
Jun. 02 - Hollywood, CA - House Of Blues
Jun. 03 - San Francisco, CA - DNA
Jun. 04 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
Jun. 05 - Seattle, WA - Studio Seven
Jun. 06 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory Concert House
Jun. 07 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theater
Jun. 09 - St Paul, MN - Station 4
Jun. 11 - Chicago, IL - House Of Blues
Jun. 12 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody's
Jun. 13 - Detroit, MI - The Majestic Theater
Jun. 14 - Toronto, ON - The Opera House
Jun. 15 - Montreal, QC - Les Foufounes Electriques
MARDUK was scheduled to enter Endarker Studios in Norrköping, Sweden earlier this month to begin recording its eleventh album, due in September via Regain Records. The CD's release will be followed by a world tour, dubbed "Funeral Nation 2009/2010", which will kick off in Europe.
Fan-filmed video footage of MARDUK performing the song "Throne Of Rats" on December 9, 2008 at Rolling Stone in Milan, Italy can be viewed below. Photos of the concert, which also included appearances by KATAKLYSM and MORBID ANGEL, are available on the news blog Musica Metal.
MARDUK's latest album, "Rom 5:12", was released in North America in May 2007 via Regain/Koch.
MARDUK was formed by guitarist Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson with the goal of becoming the "most blasphemous band in the world." The group's musical style strarted out as straight-forward, death metal-influenced black metal, but as the years went by progressed into a fast and intense form of black metal.