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What happens when Marduk ejaculates on sadomasochistic themes instead of pointless violence? Well, after nine months, Sweden’s mentally-challenged trolls anxiously await the birth of their special blessing, and during several hours of pushing and encouragement, “Obedience” arrives as a stable EP. However, Marduk receives some devastating news just moments later: “Obedience” is severely retarded. Stricken with lackluster genetics and many bad ideas, the degrading offspring soon enters the world of black metal, only to find itself butchered by Marduk’s one-staged ideology. I hate shitty music, and hearing this stupid EP tempts me to force freshly-brewed coffee up my colon instead of continuing the torment. It’s a gamble both you and I will enjoy taking; at least it’ll entertain, unlike these brainless recordings.
Basically, there are two originals alongside some covers, which all glory what Marduk has depended on since they lost their atmospheric edge: incoherent shrieks, constant blasting, and tremolo picking you could find anywhere else. The title track and “Funeral Bitch” are essentially slabs of those listed factors, as both exhibits easily follow the shit that plagued several full-lengths under Marduk’s moniker; boring and predictable, you’ll see them as an extra set of heads in a cloning facility. It’s quite humorous, because the soloing during each track isn’t horrible at all, yet everything else looks painfully molested beyond measure. Silly Marduk! Case in point, they proudly demonstrate why they’ve become a joke rather than an actual faction throughout these two fuck-ups, marking another low in their pathetic journey. So what’s the significance of doing this release? It has sadomasochistic lyrical topics....big fucking deal.
Next up, a few classics are given a bruised makeover. Most noticeably, Celtic Frost’s “Into the Crypts of Rays” is strapped in leather, awaiting some bloody justice while others look on in lustful delight. Yet this seems to be a place where hopeful expectations die, and Marduk continues ruining everything they touch with that detectable formula of theirs. Legion’s vocals appear poorly performed, which appropriately matches the lame riffs that have no sense of originality or comprehension; like a poor cover, nothing comes out of the result. As bad as it sounds, Marduk should have opted towards abortion once this feeble atrocity was conceived. If you disagree, ask yourself one question: what has been accomplished? Yep, that’s precisely my point.
Honestly, I’d be completely thrilled if some otherworldly force would magically erase my mind of the half-assed plods that determent goodness like it was a goddamn virus. I think “Obedience” enjoyably captures how quickly the bowels of Marduk can poison black metal while bringing shame upon great songs these idiots should have never touched; they’ve proven themselves to be utter clowns again and again, with this EP pushing the hypothesis even further. It’s a poor release, which I know is a HUGE shock, but sometimes obeying to truth is the smartest option. Ignore this bullshit, even if talentless black metal lures your sexual arousal.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com
After the hellishly fast and brutal "Panzer Division Marduk", one would think the Swedish masters of Black Metal had to stop in order to catch their breath. The "Obedience" EP abandoned the war-tainted atmosphere (or lack thereof) of the predecessor in favor of a sadomasochistic theme, reflected in the cover art depicting a naked and bound woman as well as the lyrics.
The title track continues in the neckbreaking pace of the preceding album, with the MARDUK horde storming forwards without remorse. There doesn't seem to be much progress from previous efforts, but the song still serves its purpose as a solid addition to the MARDUK legacy. To contrast this brutality, “Funeral Bitch” is a mid-tempo slab that slows everything down several notches, and feels very out of place in this point of the bands career. It doesn't help matters much that the song is a boring snoozer, and ultimately very trite and forgettable.
The last three tracks are cover songs (number 4 and 5 have been added as bonus-material for this Regain-reissue), and for the most part feels like filler material. “Into The Crypt Of Rays” is a fairly straight-forwards Black Metal cover of the classic Celtic Frost song, and sounds exactly as you'd think, not bad, but dreadfully generic. The band should be commended for being more adventurous with the choice of the last two covers, as they could easily have done more BATHORY or VENOM tributes. Even though “Paint It Black” is the most predictable choice for a THE ROLLING STONES cover by a Black Metal band, MARDUK pull it off surprisingly well without straying too far away from the source material retaining some of the original feeling while adding their own pitch black flavor. “Earth A.D.” is a MISFITS cover, and unfortunately doesn't fare as well as “Paint It Black”. Here we return to the violent soul-crushing spirit of MARDUK, and the result is a two minutes-long chaotic mess that is barely recognizable as the Horror Punk classic.
In spite of there being a few good moments throughout the 17 minutes of "Obedience", the short running time and unnecessary covers gives me the feeling that the entire thing should have been re-released as bonus tracks to "Panzer Division Marduk" instead of warranting its own EP. Unless you really love MARDUK and THE ROLLING STONES and think the combination of the two would be the greatest thing ever, this release is only worth getting for die-hard fans and collectors.
(Online July 1, 2008)
Written for the Metal Observer
Gotta love album covers. Very rarely does the cover art go hand in hand with the content of the music, but this is an exception. If youâ€™ve heard Marduk, you should know that an S&M-themed release means even more intensity and shock value than before. And right you are.
Maybe some people think the title track was the wrong move for Marduk, since they had released one of the fastest albums ever just one year prior to this. â€œObedienceâ€, the song, namely follows that structure. Albeit having a mid-tempo chorus, it leaves one with the impression that Marduk doesnâ€™t want to slow down at all. Among the few but stellar riffs, the blistering drumbeats and the commanding vocals lay some great arrangements which in my opinion should have laid the groundwork for upcoming albums by these Swedes. This is their territory, and they know it like the back of their hand. If only everything had worked out like this.
Track number 2: "Funeral Bitch" is the exact opposite of "Obedience". Being very slow in tempo, the mechanical composition quickly turns this song into an excuse for proving they can write slow music. The riffs are lacking complexity on every level, the drumming is so downright â€œusualâ€ it hurts, and who the hell cares about the vocals which try to trick you into believing you can sing along to this music. Apparently, they completely forgot all about the mosh-factor when they wrote this.
The last track, "Into the Crypt of Rays", is a Celtic Frost cover. It barely offers anything new, but of course they have somewhat Marduk-ized it, and letâ€™s not forget that this is a classic. What else can be said? Great song covered by a band who know exactly what theyâ€™re doing = Enjoyable experience.
Obedience also comes in another version with a few live tracks, which can be found on many other Marduk releases, but this version supposedly comes with different cover art, so Iâ€™d definitely skip that one. If you like compositions like the ones described in this review, I can certainly recommend this to you. To the rest, check out their demos before anything else to get the proper picture of Marduk.
I have the re-issue of this Marduk album so thats the version I will review. The "new" artwork sucks hardcore compared to the "REAL" art intended for this album though. Not sure the added bonus tracks are worth the different art. No surprise this is the only Century Media release I ever wasted time picking up from band. The Live Bonus Tracks claim to of been recorded at Walbrock open air, Bergum, Holland July 1st. Also makes a mention recordings were digitally edited by Devo Andersson, rather badly in my view. I honestly don't like the sound of the live songs included. I would recommend listening to Live in Germania or even Infernal Eternal if you really wanna hear Marduk live. This might be only album I know that has Funeral Bitch live, so maybe its worth getting for that. I would rather have the original art over the live tracks probably :). If nothing else least it makes the first three songs and original versions sound lots better.
Obedience for some reason makes me think of Tormentor Anno Domini mixed with Legion in Ophthalamia. Sounds like he is saying Dominion instead of dominate, dominated, or obedience at times. Not really a great song or anything like that. Has some moments in it that sound pretty good, while other parts sound like songs I have heard before.
Funeral Bitch is probably the best song on this album scary enough. I think this version is better than the Live one they include as a bonus track. Slower than the other tracks on album with some pretty good riffs and musical parts mixed in. Not as chaotic, formless, and sloppy like several of their later Legion songs either. Sounds better than most of the stuff they produced in the Century Media days too. Still a Far Cry from Those of The Unlight and Opus Nocturne albums though.
Into The Crypts of Rays is not really a bad cover song in many ways. Problem really for me is the vocals are sub par to average for the most part. The start of the song is done really well, fools me into thinking its the real version :). The musical parts are basically sped up and a bit heavier than the original version. Still it sounds much better than any of the bonus tracks included. If you were not a fan of Celtic Frost vocals on original then this song is one you might enjoy more.
US Release bonus tracks:
Baptism By Fire(Live) is not really a good song or anything to speak of. "Are You Ready For Pure Satanic OverKill?" is the highlight of this track. What comes next is basically butchered muffled mayhem mixed with a few good riffs. Really nothing amazing or groundbreaking can be heard in this entire song. Seems when talking at start and fans at end of songs all sounds right. Yet when the main songs start its like the volume gets switched low. Perhaps when they mixed this album they played with the levels in parts of the songs. I would say this song is the most lacking of all on the album, sounds like a bad version "Of Hells Fire". Pretty much 4:11 of time I could of done without hearing to be honest.
Funeral Bitch(Live) this song has a great dedication to the mass amounts of females in the audience. Thats sadly probably the best sounding part of the entire song. Almost like after he spoke they flipped a button so they would sound muffled or just not quite right. Just seems like the sound quality drops off or something when song starts up. If you hear this ever, listen to even the Bass around start before talking to fans. Then tell me what happend to that sound when things start up. Maybe the production wasn't good on these tracks, or the band just wasn't sounding their best. Still with that said this is probably the best live song on here. Lasting for about 4 minutes in time.
Dracole Wayda(Live) is a pretty good song, just I don't really like the live version on here much. The singing can barely be heard well most of the time. Seems like the music just overwhelms it or was mixed badly. When you can even hear the music since it seems castrated and lacking in life. Almost makes me wonder if the sound on live tracks was sabatoged on purpose. Anyways this song persists for about 4:13 before coming to a mercyful end.
I don't really think any of the songs on here are good enough to carry an entire album. As for Marduk Mini CDs, I would get Fuck Me Jesus, Here's No Peace, and even Glorification before ever considering this album. If you just wanna hear good Legion with Marduk then try Heaven Shall Burn or Nightwing. Some bands sound better live, on this album Marduk isn't one of them. All things considered the first three tracks on here are pretty decent. Shame the live songs did not have better production and mixing or this might of been a pretty good effort. Basically all things considered I give this album a 76, especially factoring in that the live bonus tracks were not included on original.