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Marduk’s earliest two EPs have the distinction of being little more than differently-packaged selections of the first batch of Marduk songs – that is to say, the stuff recorded for the debut album, Dark Endless, with Andreas Axelsson as the vocalist and blackened death metal as the favoured style. Here’s No Peace (considered as being among the first two because of the recording date (1991), not the release date) is the lesser-known of the two, overshadowed by the instantly recognizable Fuck Me Jesus.
Here’s No Peace is a very short EP, with the original version clocking in at 7 minutes and 31 seconds while the reissues contain a couple of Bathory covers which give the whole thing a little bit more content. Starting off with the eponymous intro (in fact the only exclusive track on the EP) which consists of little more than a couple of guitar riffs thrown around some basic drumming for about 40 seconds, the record then blasts in full force with Still Fucking Dead, a slightly rawer take on the death metal success which is one of the first examples of the Marduk formula at work. Within the Abyss is a very similar track, displaying the contemporary Marduk approach to their music, which basically consisted of death metal infused with a heavy black metal aesthetic, creating a strong mix of extreme metal.
The riffs here have little to do with the classic black metal guitar work which would become not only the standard in Norway, but in Marduk’s follow-up albums as well, especially on Those of the Unlight and Opus Nocturne. The vocals are however much more reminiscent of those used in most black metal, as opposed to the usual stuff performed by death metal bands. The production is also consistent with both the recordings preceding the Dark Endless album (the Fuck Me Jesus demo) as well as the next few albums and EPs, straying from the cleaner sound favoured on the debut album.
Special note must be given to the two bonus tracks, both Bathory covers. These two covers were thrown in together as bonuses on both the reissues of this EP and of Fuck Me Jesus. First off is In Conspiracy with Satan, taken from Bathory’s classic self-titled debut album. Marduk have done the impossible: they took an awesome, raw as hell blackened thrash metal song and made it even harsher and more violent, creating what could only be described as a wall of sound. After this interesting take on a classic, Marduk covered Woman of Dark Desires, from Under the Sign of the Black Mark. This second cover is, purely in production terms, an improvement over the original in that you can actually hear what’s going on very well and the catchy nature of the original is expanded upon by Marduk. Ironically, the vastly cleaner and louder production makes both songs sound much less like black metal than the originals, placing considerably more emphasis on the vocals and allowing the solo in Woman of Dark Desires to be heard more clearly. Thus, while both covers are remarkably well performed, they absolutely can not be called improvements over the excellent originals.
In the end Here’s No Peace, while not being anything groundbreaking, is a great example of how Marduk used to play their stuff with talent and conviction at the very beginning of their career. It should also be noted that the preferable versions (in terms of packaging) would be either any vinyl available as well as the 1998 Digipack reissue, which contains great and, most importantly, fitting artwork of the WWII-era Wehrmacht in action (mostly involving tanks).
Marduk, in their early days (nor now either, by the way) were not millionaires, and so you can tell by the production of this demo. Everything about the mix is sub-par, they’ve used all the wrong effects and so on, but who could linger on such a small bug? This is black metal, and it’s delivered in the form it should. By the way, it sure sounds better this way than the polished sound they used on their first full-length. This style is better suited with rawness than sonic perfection anyway.
The disc starts with a slow-played pattern. After the build up to climax, you’re sucked into the relentless speed and fury of “Still Fucking Dead”. This is one amazing track. The masterful riffs slide so perfectly into each other and fit into the drumming style as hand to glove. Andreas Axelsson was the vocalist back on this release, and I’d say he handles his duties well. His style of shrieking is quite “normal” in terms of black metal vocals, but with an edge not heard before.
Although slower at times, “Within the Abyss” is the most brutal song here. They’ve incorporated a more genuine style of riffing here. It’s almost as if the riffs were dragged out somehow. I suspect this song has gone through many changes since the first rehearsal.
Yes, this is black metal, and if you don’t like it in its rawest and most extreme form, you should definitely stay away from this. For everyone else though, this is highly recommended.