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If you indulge yourself with black metal and haven’t heard Marduk, you’ve probably been living under a rock (or some would claim you’re a poser). Marduk are arguably the most successful black metal band out of Sweden, conceived in 1990. However, they are also one of the most overrated black metal bands releasing far too many albums that sound far too similar. Their polished black metal is dominated by mindless blastbeats and unlike bands such as Conqueror and Blasphemy who clearly hold blastbeats dear to their black metal, Marduk do not harness that nihilistic and chaotic dirtiness that these bands have perfected, opting for a more polished approach. ‘Wormwood’ opens with ‘Nowhere, No-one, Nothing’ which concentrates more on atmosphere than speed with melodic moments coexisting with a restrained employment of blastbeats. Admittedly, this is a great start for Marduk but they end the track so spontaneously it is as if they could not be bothered to create a suitable end. ‘Funeral Dawn’ is another display of atmosphere over speed with the song marching at a steady beat throughout with a guitar playing a suspiciously lighter variation of Mayhem’s ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ but the second guitar sounds formidable. It does not take long before Marduk back-track to what they know best: laborious, blastbeat-driven black metal as can be heard on ‘Phosphorous Redeemer’, ‘To Redirect Perdition’ and ‘Into Utter Madness’ among others. Moments of creativity are decidedly scarce and the entire album is largely unmemorable between the first two tracks and ‘As a Garment’ which, in spite of flawlessly foreboding passages, swamps moments of interest with middling blastbeats, making the song wander aimlessly and frighten away any individuality that may have been present. Recommended for Marduk fans because if they’ve come this far, they probably wouldn’t stop listening to them, despite the lack of discerning features.
Regain Records
Review by Elena Francis
24th Sept 2009
1) Nowhere, No-one, Nothing
2) Funeral Dawn
3) This Fleshly Void
4) Unclosing the Curse
5) Into Utter Madness
6) Phospherous Redeemer
7) To Redirect Perdition
8) Whorecrown
9) Chorus of Cracking Necks
10) As a Garment
"It does not take long before Marduk back-track to what they know best: laborious, blastbeat-driven black metal..."