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Better Structured And More Mature - 80%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, April 1st, 2008

The second album by Marduk shows a more mature and pure black metal approach than Dark Endless. Three years have passed and the band has grown in musical skills and intensity. This album contains some of the best compositions by Marduk that still nowadays are played in every gig and this means that they are quite mature and enjoyable.

The doom parts are always a bit present but this time the group is more violent and faster. “Darkness Breeds Immortality” is a very good opener with a catchy main, black metal riff followed by some good, weird arpeggios. The blast beats are more powerful, faster and all the members are more confident with their abilities. The bass drums parts are faster, the mid paced tempo are a bit better structured and the guitars lines are far blacker.

There’s another thing I noticed: the song structures. They are better done with no out of the blue ends they had in the debut, giving you the idea completeness. The vocals are more shriek and evil. The speed restart by the end of the title track is a good example to taste the band’s mature level and evilness. “Wolves” is a small Marduk’s piece of history with the doom, occult atmosphere and the long, ritualistic solos…great song. “On Darkened Wings” shows a great single chord black metal riffage with good up tempo. A sign for the true black metal to come…

Anyway, we are yet quite far from the total blast beats period but here everything has been made to sound faster and more evil, like the great “Burn My Coffin” with a long series of blast beats. The bass is always pulsing and metallic, the guitars draw landscapes of pure horror through to “open chords riffs” technique or the single shredded one.

The production is quite raw but perfect for this sound, especially during the occult mid paced tempo where you can hear some keyboards sounds too or the melodic, black lead guitars parts. During the blast beats, the hi-hat is a bit too loud compared to the other sounds but it’s ok and also this contributes in creating a really gloom atmosphere. While “A Sculpture Of The Night” and “Echoes From The Past” are definitely faster, by the end of this album we can find the instrumental, ambient “Stone Stands Its Silent Vigil”. A great track with a melodic guitars work.

All in all, this is an improvement by Marduk. At the time they were building their glorious future.