posted on 10/2009 By:
There are few things as satisfying as a new Marduk album, even more so now that Mortuus (aka Funeral Mist’s Arioch) has joined the fold for a couple of albums, adding his twisted, anguished vocal delivery and aura to Marduk’s perfected style of slicing Scandinavian black metal.
As with Plague Angel and Rom 5:12, and I imagine in a part to Mortuus, Wormwood has added a layer of insidius malevolence to their already vehement wall of noise black metal fury. And while slow songs have been a subtle part of Marduk’s assault for a few albums now, the added sense of stifling atmospherics and ritualistic ambience that Arioch brings along with some musical injections and tangents, further cements Marduk as the very blueprint of Swedish black metal.
Fear not though, while Marduk is now fully capable of slowly suffocating the listener with malicious ambience, the heart of the band’s sound is still a tremolo picked fury that few can match (obviously, Funeral Mist and Dark Funeral to name a few). After a few seconds of foreboding, opener “Nowhere, No-One, Nothing” explodes from the speakers with an expected level of Marduk vitriol, again made even more vile sounding due to Mortuus’ prose and delivery. As quick as it starts, the track transitions effortlessly to the slow march of “Funeral Dawn,” a brooding, wheezing track that could have come from Funeral Mist’s recent Maranatha opus.
The traditional searing Marduk vortex returns for “The Fleshly Void,” reminding you this is a Marduk album despite the track's ending atmospheric tangent. The appropriately titled “Into Utter Madness” and “Phosphorous Redeemer” are relentless, classic Marduk blast fests before “To Redirect Perdition” returns to the slow crawl and rasp of “Funeral Dawn.” The album's arguable standout, “Whorecrown” flirts with dizzying, Deathspell Omega styled dissonance, vitriolic melody lines and some well done samples. The album closes with the short and sharp assault of “Chorus of Cracking Necks” (awesome song title) and moody, churning closeout “As A Garment” and its wrapped in a clean but scathing production that simply shows that 11 albums in and Marduk are still growing and developing, yet remaining true to their roots.
The only minor flaw is not so much with the album directly but more due to the fact casual listeners might confuse Funeral Mist’s excellent Maranatha with Wormword mostly due to the presence of Mortuus/Arioch and increased ambience-myself included. However, black metal and Marduk experts will discern the two as separate entities and recognize both for the top notch 2009 black metal albums that they are; and both are black metal royalty now sharing a bloodline.
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