Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Kinda boring - 79%

The_Ghoul, August 26th, 2008

I heard that this was the Marduk album that was unlike every other album, their "true" album.

Well fuck that. Let's face it, Marduk know how to do one thing good, and one thing only. And that thing is to blast away with amorphous riffs and randomly placed screams. They did only one good album in that vein, and this wasn't it (it was Heaven Shall Burn). When a band hasn't found their sound yet, it often comes off as shallow and unfocused, because they don't know what they're doing quite yet. And while I love the concept of Those of the Unlight (I'm a tolkien fan, and an album about the Nazgul is sure to pleasure my tastes) the execution leaves me underwhelmed. Sadly enough, Morgan Steinmeyer Haakanson does not know how to write good riffs consistently, and it wasn't until they found their "blast until the blasting's done" sound on Heaven Shall Burn that they sounded "natural". And while the albums that followed proved to be very repetitive and boring, they still sounded "natural".

And that's why I can't seem to like Those of the Unlight. It seems forced at every turn. They're faking it, and I can hear it. Every riff wanders and plods along, and never goes anywhere. While Panzer Division was a terribly repetitive album, if you listen to just ONE song off that album, and not the whole album, chances are you're gonna like it. And that's because Heaven Shall Burn... and the albums that followed were COHERENT, and this, frankly, isn't coherent.

A lot can be said for musical continuity. Without that magic touch that glues riffs together, it comes off as a giant non-sequitur. Sure, there are good riffs galore, but they have nothing to do with each other. It's like throwing watermelon, ice cream, steak, cucumbers, habaneros, and tartar sauce into a bowl and puree'ing it. While each of those much be good with similar flavours, all together it tastes like shit. Another comparison would be that this is a musical anagram; the riffs could, if arranged differently, potentially produce a masterpiece. I presume the reader understands what I'm saying, so I'll move away from abstracts and onto concrete examples.

Take the title track. It opens with a decent riff, and then the bass and drums come in, and the bass basically follows the guitar. The drums don't do anything spectacular, and then a completely new riff comes in. Ok, ok, it still has the potential to knock my socks off. And again, the bass just follows the guitar, and the drums plod along. I should mention the drums. They are so timid and weak. I don't demand constant blasting, but some energy would be nice. Force would be good as well, with more energetic double bass, more convincing blastbeats, and on the general, the drums should fit the music a bit better. The drums, throughout the entire duration of this, sound out of place and just don't fit. In fact, nothing fits. That's why this is relegated to the heap of boring two-bit black metal acts.

Marduk have always been all image and very little substance, and this is no different. The image is different than usual (Sauron instead of Satan) but the ideology is still the same, and that is that the music isn't really important as long as it's loud, noisy, and "evil". Marduk are the very thing black metal should be against, and that is poser fakes who are more interested in sounding like generic "evil" than having anything of importance, both musically and lyrically, to say.

This isn't as bad as Panzer Division, because at least it's not repetitive and you can actually hear the riffs. But it's still not worth all the fellatio that it gets, because it's still a subpar album.