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Marduk - Wormwood - 79%

Avestriel, September 27th, 2009

Well here we are two years after the release of the most mature and elegant release from swedish warmachine Marduk, and while the album starts off with the same good ol' ultraviolence these guys are famous for, soon enough the listener will be able to realise this album is but the evolution of the new style developed in Rom 5:12.

Right in track 1 we're introduced to a heavy atmosphere which blends well with the relentless blastbeats which only stop at crucial points to create a vertiginous effect. And then comes track nÂș2, "As A Garment", which, reminiscent of their previous release, is actually a slow-paced, heavy and mournful song, with the bass taking the spotlight almost as much as the guitar does. All in all quite a rare moment in the overall history of the band.

The album follows in a similar suit since the relentless and everpresent blastbeast fest is often left aside to showcase a variety of rhythms and paces, along with riffs that pretty much avoid the usual formula of tremolo riffing until everyone else falls asleep. This album, as I said, is quite the continuation of the previous album, but this time we are introduced to a much more sophisticated evolution of the style, it seems they put more time, effort and thought to the composition of this album, which resulted in a much more enjoyable experience, which differs greatly from older albums which I could never finish listening because of acute boredom.

We're introduced to samples and sound effects which carry a heavy atmosphere, and there's even one mini-track right about halfway through the album, which is something I would have not expected from Marduk. It really adds to the general feeling of the album, which is loaded with contempt and the general feeling of the unavoidable end of humanity.

The riffing itself evokes quite a few different feelings, from impending doom to gloomy atmospheres, to relentless violence, to heroic imagery, to death and decay. The bass has this deliciously thick but clean sound which makes its presence notable throughout the whole album, and the drumming is not as abrasive as in previous releases. Vocals are pretty much as great as usual, and the same can be said about the guitar tone.

While this is not really groundbreaking or as remarkable as other albums released this year, this is definitely one of the best, most enjoyable albums from this crazy bunch of swedes also known as Marduk.

Originally written for the paper version of the Terror Cult Zine