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Lack any direction, Marduk just sucks now - 30%

Symphony_Of_Terror, November 26th, 2004

Marduk is band that only has one original member left in the line up, Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson, and he hasn’t even been in the band the entire time. Usually when a band’s line up changes drastically over the years, their sound changes and suffers. Marduk is no exception, nothing they have done since Heaven Shall Burn….When We Have Gathered has been very good. They changed from their “technical” flowing black metal style with screeching vocals to choppy black metal with uninspired sloppy vocals. That is to say they went from something original and good to something “mainstream”, typical, and bad. Plague Angel further cements Marduk’s progression towards mainstream shit and has buried the band’s credibility and chance of redemption, kind of how we all knew Metallica was gone when they released their Load album.

Plague angel suffers from lack of direction, inspiration, and originality. From start to finish every song lacks direction and sounds just like the previous except for Deathmarch, a useless track trying to be atmospheric and failing, and Perish In Flames, which has a slow and somewhat good (although trite) intro and flow to it. Perhaps the only song on the album that is a bit different from the rest of the album. Track one, The Hangman Of Prague, sounds identical to track eleven, Blutrache. Every song in between is identical. They are all filled with boring repetitive drumming and blast beats, boring guitar riffs that have little variation, and a bad clone of Legions vocals. On Throne Of Rats the band will play a repetitive and boring riff over and over in an attempt to create a destructive and apocalyptic atmosphere. They of course fail. Everyone song on the album has a moment similar to this, and they all fail.

Plague Angel, when broken down, is Marduk trying to copy their Panzer Division Marduk album by making it heavier with more blast beats and brutal guitars, and combining It with the sound of one of their best albums, Opus Nocturne. If they did this and tried to make it a bit more creative or original, and give each song its own personality, Plague Angel may be Marduk’s best album in ten years. Sadly though, Plague Angel fails to be anything more than incoherent blast beats played over boring and repetitive black metal with some horrible vocals. I suggest checking out Opus Nocture and Those Of The Unlight before Plague Angel, to see what Marduk once was…good. This album has two good traits, its fast and heavy, but that is no where near enough to save it. I would give it between a zero and ten, but about once per song there is a decent riff which allowed me to survive suffering through this album.