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Marduk's best effort by far - 100%

Kristenhat666, November 19th, 2006

If somebody asked me today whether I like the Black Metal band Marduk, I wonder what I’d say first. I simply cannot decide whether I’d retort “ WHAT Black Metal?” or just reply “you must be joking!”. To be completely honest, the ‘full-speed ahead at any cost” so-called BM they have become so notorious for in the last 8 years may impress those who were barely out of their diapers in 1994, but it leaves people like me cold. I remember the days when “OPUS NOCTURNE” came out extremely well. In fact, I recall the day I was given a tape saying merely “MARDUK”, with no further details, and played it in my cassette deck.. I did not know it was the above-mentioned album, but I knew I had the honor of listening to something superior to the Death Metal or Thrash Metal releases I had more than enough of. That “something” had a name. It was called Black Metal!

Yes, Black Metal, and “OPUS NOCTURNE” surely deserves to be called that! I knew that even back then, when I first heard it. I had not had the chance to experience BM before that moment, but the characteristic sound, riffs and atmosphere have been engraved in my mind ever since. Any real adept of the genre will confirm that any album that falls under that category is hardly about creating a massive wall of sound and hammering away. The production values are instead focused on making the guitars buzzing/freezing enough, the drums as solid as possible and the overall sound simply cold. Dan Swanö did a fantastic job here. What is even more commendable is the fact that the bass on this release, unlike many other albums, is clearly audible and does not follow the guitars blindly. Even keyboards are present, though they are used scarcely and only at the most adequate moments. No instrument is made to be the slave of others, and the resulting effect and atmosphere are a bliss! To those that have yet to hear this work of art and need more details concerning the music, I say this: it’s fast, it’s melodic and as mentioned earlier, it’s pure musical frost. It belongs to the best releases of that period, which can be qualified as the glory days of BM.

So here it is. “Opus Nocturne” is definitely not going to appeal to everyone out there, but those seeking True Black Metal should adorn their collection with this jewel!