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Easily Marduk's best and for good reason. - 91%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, November 6th, 2009

You can actually HEAR all the instruments. And it DOES have a sense of atmosphere to it. These are two things that Marduk has always had a bit of a problem with for the most part of their career. Plus, what is this? Variety of riffs? Well not so much variety but we are still seeing Marduk progressively moving more away from their blackened-death metal roots and trying to pull a Darkthrone on everyone and be nothing but a total black metal band. Marduk did become a total black metal band, but they should have stuck to their blackened death metal sound for the most part.

There is also the lead singer and drummer Joakim Gothberg who sounds at least a hundred times better than Legion and his monotone screech. here you can actually pick-up a sense of anguish in his screams as in you can actually feel his pain to a certain extent. Plus his drumming is well more constructed, thought-out, better timed...and lest not we forget doesn't sound like a drum machine going off at 10000000000000000 mph. Here he works both duties to his best and does an excellent job. In my opinion, this is easily Marduk's best line-up. Also the sound production is a bit raw, but you're still able to hear the majority of the musicians including ex bassist B.War's bass! Nicely mixed in with the guitars and at any given noticed, you'll hear the bottom end. Not a golden sound, but just enough to where you can hear it.

Only 8 songs and I can without a doubt say that these are Marduk's best offering past their first album "Dark Endless". The first track "Darkness Breeds Immortality" sounds like a faster version of the main riff from Darkthrone's "Cromlech". Also it should be noted there are no keyboards on here, but why is it every time I listen to this album I feel like I am hearing a simple droning key or two? Is there something Marduk isn't telling us? Where they actually trying to experiment with this album? Who knows but the next two tracks "Those of the Unlight" and "Wolves" are their best songs. Especially "Wolves" where it captures the archetype black metal riffing and doom-ish breakdowns and some wait, what's this? Psychadelic rock guitar solo? What were these guys smoking? Whatever it was it sure helped them. "Echoes From the Past" is an amazing instrumental with an ambient/ethereal sound. The rest of the songs are more of less bridges between the stand-out and the songs not mentioned aren't bad in themselves.

Out of the entire Marduk discography, you only need their first album "Dark Endless", "Those Of The Unlight", and maybe "Live In Germania" if you like really raw under-produced live black metal albums. Oh yeah, I completely forgot...the artwork on the album cover; the Nazgul for LOTR? Totally excellent. You definitely get your money's worth with this album.