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The Unlight Shines Over All - 100%

GuntherTheUndying, August 5th, 2008

I have to begin this review with a cleansing confession: I deem this album one of the greatest things to have ever spawned from black metal. Considering the predatory genre, we can all agree only a strong selection have survived time’s unmerciful punishment, yet “Those of the Unlight” has fought since birth, and its obstacles still posses more hardships than other recordings of its eternal veil. The blacksmiths named Marduk once seized substantial respect before selling themselves into a blast-orientated joke, this here being their sole trophy of authentic black metal that isn’t restricted by tomfoolery. Ruined by what came, it denies its future rivals and walks alone, almost like a new band quickly resurrected with different people, but all judges know this easily crushes what Marduk presently worships. If you want to test my love for “Those of the Unlight,” ask me to punch every member of my family in the face or something equally wrong, because I’ll do it regardless. And yes, I really will!

During days of shifting shape and absorbing outer influences, Marduk had ditched all death metal spice spotted on their debut when “Those of the Unlight” was finally constructed, leading them towards an equation of darker dynamism. Alike most black metal bands functioning throughout the 1990s, the prominent path led Marduk down an atmospheric passage, granting them all divine qualities of its ethereal nature: intense riffs, witching drumming, numinous surroundings, herculean vocals, and power beyond words. Morgan Håkansson’s guitar licks are a perfect unison of personified chaos and mystique beauty colliding violently, creating unparalleled paradigms like the schizophrenic tremolo picking on “Darkness Breeds Immortality,” or bewildering designs of slow, haunting chords shadowing “Wolves” in a proficient aura. Even better, his ammunition varies from melodic structures to mid-tempo chimes, and in terms of quality, everything is stunning; however, the overall flow is unstoppable, not to mention “On Darkened Wings” and “Burn My Coffin” have some of the best solos I’ve ever heard. Honestly, I could give myself some left-hand pleasure with this shredding. Just too good!

But as the frenzied attack fades, a solemn mist of pouring rain quickly replenishes the soul with an ambient number entitled “Echoes from the Past.” The effort inquires much clearer music to the songbirds than any explaining individual could tell, for its usage of clean guitars, calming precipitation, and remarkable atmosphere truly earns a round of applause. It’s quite a charm, and one you certainly won’t anticipate; just dabbling into such uniqueness adds beautiful hues to an already-beaming illustration. Nevertheless, these notions impose a fruitful side we’ve never seen from Marduk; a reflection so gripping…is it really them? I honestly cannot believe so, because there’s intelligence, passion, poetics, and actual insight swirling within. What a visionary addition to this successful record.

Indeed, what has become of Marduk will only add disgrace to an already-stained moniker. First off, how can anyone not notice the stunning balance of instrumental flow? All musical blueprints freely involve bass guitar and percussion as rhythm tools underneath riffing patterns, which certainly does not appear throughout Legion-era releases; even when blasting chaotically, you detect a deeper feeling of instrumental spine, and that juggling keeps things looking dangerously entertaining. Alas, Joakim Göthberg’s twisted shrieks have somehow received less praise than those slurring mongoloids that followed after he departed. Coherently audible and loaded with darkness, Göthberg sounds suffering, evil, emotional, and wonderfully fitting during his seven rings of domination. Charades and fueling stereotypes might plague what came after these factors were exiled, but nothing can ever violate what has been achieved here: mass excellence.

Back in 2007, I was given a promo copy of “Rom 5:12,” which many folks considered the absolute return of Marduk’s glory days. Needless to say, the album’s doom-laden atmosphere could work an arm’s length of material and not much beyond, yet there was a reason for this lackluster approach. Upon realizing their original fans had been betrayed for a brainless ideology of black metal, Marduk could only gawk at “Those of the Unlight” and the honor that came with its rising, knowing it could never be touched again. Would an ex-quarterback attempt his position twenty years after retirement despite a spark to return? Absolutely not, because smearing past accomplishments to excel in future or present activities will only destroy what history had built; the band knew doing so would bury them alive. They can keep doing whatever they wish, but yesterday, today, and tomorrow all agree: “Those of the Unlight” shall never be dethroned.

This review was written for: www.leviatan-magazine.com