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This Marduk single sounds a lot like Marduk, surprisingly enough. 'Hearse' is a conventional modern Marduk track from top to bottom, from the rivers of blast beats and double bass to the simple whiny tremolo riffs that are too short and primitive for their own good. Marduk on this track, much in the vein of Dark Funeral, shows their love of playing riffs and then playing them up a couple frets to display their grasp of dynamics. Vocals are a pretty trite black metal rasp with a droning Nocturno Culto quality to them which doesn't quite work with the rather active (or at least attempting to be) music. Artificial-sounding slow sections are injected here and there in an attempt to be epic or dynamic or original or something. It's not really offensive, it's just incredibly unmemorable and boring apart from how overproduced it is.
The Possessed cover is a different story: it's legitimately bad. The band's version of 'Phantasm' is almost hilariously awkward sounding because they're trying to sound so casual about it. Marduk should be doing what Vader do and adding too many notes everywhere because they know they can't actually sound like the band they're covering. Instead, they try to make themselves sound casual when they're clearly a million times better on their instruments than Possessed ever were, and the result is a lot like seeing you middle-aged father trying to use urban slang: embarrassing, inappropriate, and resulting in muttered declarations for the old man to get back in the god damn house and stop humiliating everyone around him. This is an entirely unnecessary release; don't bother unless you're a die-hard Marduk fan, and I don't think any of those exist.
This is Marduk’s first and to date only single. It was released as a teaser for the World Funeral album, containing a track from that album, Hearse, and Phantasm, a Possessed cover.
The title track is absolutely amazing, one of the best tracks off World Funeral. It’s got some of the most fucking brutal drumming ever done, not only for World Funeral but also for all of Marduk’s works. As usual Morgan serves us with some of his amazing riffs and Legion’s vocals are pure evil on this one. This song alone makes me think that firing him after World Funeral was a mistake. Not only that but the lyrics to the song…wow, read them because they’re great. Very morbid. They obviously deal with death and funeral-related matters. This really is an excellent selection for a single.
Sadly the Possessed cover doesn’t quite possess (no pun intended) the quality of the title track. It’s still very good but it just seems that it’s slightly generic, especially in the vocal department. What saves it however is the very nice solo at the 2:40 mark and the best thing about is in the lyrics: they’re perfectly suited to the title track and the concept of this single (and of the World Funeral album).
So here you get two tracks, both high quality but with Hearse definitely being the better of the two. It’s nice if you want to get an idea of what Marduk is all about without actually buying an album (I have no idea why someone wouldn’t want to buy one of their albums…) or if you want to hear a Possessed song done by a brutal black metal band. Or, of course, if you’re like me, a maniacal Marduk fan who gets his hands on everything they release.