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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.