Marduk

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Here's No Peace

Marduk - Here's No Peace ©1992 Shadow Records
1. Here's No Peace
2. Still Fucking Dead
3. Within The Abyss

Marduk is all about shock value. This is the same band whose early demo Fuck Me Jesus featuring a young lady finding religious "solace" in the cross on the cover brought them quite a bit of attention. Since then they've been busy writing their naughty music and attempting to push the envelope...or so they claim in interviews. However, there was another demo recorded around that time and this CD is the issuance of it. The short demo, recorded by Dan "I got my hand in the cookie jar again" Swanö shows a young Marduk furiously pouding out a cross between early black metal alà Bathory, Sodom and Hellhammer with a few touches from classic thrash bands like Destruction. Each song has its fair share of fast parts and slow sections. But there really isn't much here to distinguish Marduk from the rest of the hedonistic breathen.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1998


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Opus Nocturne

Marduk - Opus Nocturne ©1994 Osmose
1. Intro/The Appearance Of Spirits Of Darkness
2. Sulphur Souls
3. From Subterranean Throne Profound
4. Autumnal Reaper
5. Materialized In Stone
6. Untrodden Paths (Wolves Part II)
7. Opus Nocturne
8. Deme Quaten Thyrane
9. The Sun Has Failed

Thriving in their limited motif, Marduk has apparently been dwelling in their blitzcore hyper black metal to no true point. Opus Nocturne probably has appeal to anyone who must have their music as fast as possible with little breathing room. But even with Dan Swano's decent production much of what is heard here just blows by like so many corpsepainted tumbleweeds. If I don't force myself to pay close attention, I forget that the CD is playing and other things, such as scratching my lower regions and vacantly staring at the paint on the wall, become vitally more important. Eventually attention returns to the CD and they're doing THE EXACT SAME THING as when I stopped paying attention. Dynamics, you Swedish heathens you! Vary things up! And I'm not just talking "let's play fast, let's play slow" breaks. Marduk has demonstrated they can play fast. Now I'm curious if they'll ever bother with interesting songs.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1999

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Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered

Marduk - Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered ©1996 Osmose
1. Summon The Darkness
2. Beyond The Grace Of God
3. Infernal Eternal
4. Glorification Of The Black God
5. Darkness It Shall Be
6. The Black Tormentor Of Satan
7. Dracul Va Domni Din Nou In Transilvania
8. Legion

Pretty good middle-era effort from Marduk. Notorious for the maddened and maddening pace of their music, Marduk here change nothing as they march relentless - a fine decade of churning audience viscera. Visceral it is, surely, but is it anything more? I think so. Listen to the seamless incorporation of Mussorgsky's "Night on the Bare Mountain" into "Glorification of the Black God" - the arrangement is all careful design, no accident. "Beyond the Grace of God" and "The Black Tormentor of Satan" are both well composed and with typical Marduk-styled razor guitar, but with a distinct tinge of sadness never again found in their music. The vocalist's imperious rasp is most effective on "Dracul Va Domni" and "Legion" - the former being a slow, grinding fit of repetitive melody and the latter a blackwashed, impenetrable wall of sound. "Legion", incidentally, is my favourite Marduk song: Legion (this refers to the vocalist) phrases some great rapid fire blasphemies sharp in rhythm with the riff cycles.

Good lyrics, for the genre, proving that a genuinely threatening word-choice is indeed possible in this subculture. Excellent title, too (I've always found Marduk album and song titles to be the best in the genre. Poetic, really: "The funeral seemed to be endless" and "those of the unlight" are titles I wish i had come up with). And the cover art is very representative of the malice and charm of this record. It's hard to find tremendous depth in this particular genre of music; this album isn't particularly endearing and doesn't lend itself to a critical, enduring listenership - we'll all be half-deaf and burnt out at 30, otherwise. But why not thrash when your body and mind can take the abuse?

Review by Rahul Joshi

Review date: 04/2002


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Plague Angel

Marduk - Plague Angel ©2004 Blooddawn Productions
1. The Hangman of Prague
2. Throne of Rats
3. Seven Angels, Seven Trumpets
4. Life's Emblem
5. Steel Inferno
6. Perish in Flames
7. Holy Blood, Holy Grail
8. Warschau
9. Deathmarch
10. Everything Bleeds
11. Blutrache

Seemingly discontented with their reputation as the band whose only true contribution to black metal was to play at slightly faster and substantially less varied tempos than most of the other bands of the scene, Marduk saw fit to stir things up a bit, notably by firing long-time vocalist Legion and replacing him with Funeral Mist/Triumphator mainman Daniel "Mortuus" Rosten (AKA "Arioch") as well as inviting former guitarist Magnus "Devo" Andersson back into the fold as bass player. The resultant album does not exactly bring the heavens down around the collective heads and shoulders of black metal fanatics, but it does prove that some new blood can inject some new life into the ol' dragon.

Like previous Marduk releases, Plague Angel sticks to the blitzkrieg-black-metal-blast-beat-assault-with-a-death-metal-heft formula, but whereas nearly every album with Legion at the helm sounded like a brand-new washing machine possessed by a wily and very annoying demon, Plague Angel demonstrates a deepening of tone, a genuine sense of viciousness and spite, a shift in dynamics, and an eerie, martial-sounding atmosphere in places (due in part to contributions by martial/ambient band Arditi). There are even a few slower numbers in the form of "Seven Angels, Seven Trumpets" and "Perish in Flames", Mortuus proves himself to be a more than apt replacement for Legion. In fact, anyone who has heard his work in Funeral Mist would agree that he is among the more extreme-sounding black metal vocalists out there. Indeed, his rasps, groans, growls, and shrieks are intense, varied, and disconcerting in a way that Legion was not. Unfortunately, his vocals are not as upfront as they would be on the two most recent albums, but not in the way that robs them of their innate power and viciousness.

While many of the faster numbers tend to blend together in a flurry of riffs and blasts, there are many great moments to be found on this recording, and the album on a whole is an excellent demonstration of black metal intensity done correctly (the insanity found in "The Hangman of Prague" and "Throne of Rats" is simply scorching). Who would have thought that Marduk would become a viable and interesting band after all these years?

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 08/2010

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Rom 5:12

Marduk - Rom 5:12 ©2007 Regain Records
1. The Levelling Dust
2. Cold Mouth Prayer
3. Imago Mortis
4. Through the Belly of Damnation
5. 1651
6. Limbs of Worship
7. Accuser/Opposer
8. Vanity of Vanities
9. Womb of Perishableness
10. Voices From Avignon

There is a YouTube clip floating around of a recent Marduk show in San Francisco wherein a shirtless drunk man attempts to embrace Mortuus right before the start of the band's set. Before he can even get two arms around the hirsute, corpse-painted Swede, the man is seized by Mortuus and judo-flipped onto his back and then violently kicked off the stage by the man, all in front of a legion (lols! see what I did there?) of hungry black metal fans. Aside from the obvious lesson of the tackiness inherent to interrupting a performer on stage, the bottom line is that one should never, ever, ever, under any circumstance, attempt to hug Mortuus, as he will surely hurt you. One can be sure that there has been many a family reunion out of which a few broken bones have resulted. Judging by the ferocity and darkness found in Rom 5:12, this is probably not too far from the truth.

Marduk's second album with Mortuus/Arioch at the helm is arguably the band's most dynamic and varied album to date. The one thing that is immediately apparent is that the band on a whole has completely outgrown its shock-black metal skin and, perhaps in part as a result of Mortuus' involvement, become something eerily genuine and disturbing in its lyrical and atmospheric approach, much in the same way that Deathspell Omega can get under one's skin with their own unique take on black metal (though it must be said that this IS Marduk we're talking about here; the band is nowhere near as dense as that enigmatic French band). There is a consistent, conceptual through-line running throughout the album, with the doomier, mid-paced elements taking more of the limelight away from the blastbeats and overall cacophony. The faster tracks ("Cold Mouth Prayer", "Vanity of Vanities", "Limbs of Worship") are varied enough to keep from sounding too samey, which is something that could have greatly benefited Plague Angel. The album's best track is the menacing "Accuser/Opposer", with its mid-paced, martial gait and guest vocals from none other than Alan "Nemtheanga" Averill of Primordial (arguably metal's most charismatic frontman). Mortuus' own vocals are much more front and center than they were on Plague Angel. The man is honestly one of the best harsh vocalists out there, and his gurgles, rasps and moans make him sound like some sort of demonic preacher. All in all, it's a pretty inspired performance and yet another example as to why he is probably the best thing to have happened to this band.

Given the sameyness and silly shock-rock nature of the band's older, pre-Arioch material, it can be safe to say that anyone curious as to why Marduk has the stature that it has in the black metal scene should proceed directly to this album.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 09/2010

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