A lot of people liked ‘Frontschwein’.
I suppose for where they were it was still decent; but spinning it again recently I was struck by how mid-paced and flabby it was.
Time hasnt really been kind to it.
Perhaps it’s just that the coruscating speed and frenecity of this one just shows it up too much – because my goodness, what a blast this one is. Even if they are pinching from Valborg’s aesthetic just a little.
It is quintessential Marduk: no pissing around, just straight in for the jugular at the highest speed possible and no apologies whatever.
The whippet blastbeats of ‘June 44’ and ‘Equestrian Bloodust’ are nothing short of electrifying, returning to the days of when Fredrik Andersson would propel them forth for attack after blistering attack.
They’re trying new things too – there are eyebrow raising samples of kids shouting in the opener which comes as a surprise from such an otherwise creativity free band.
‘Tiger I’ is probably the only true dud on it, a boring, simple plod unredeemed by a late blast.
Almost everything else, and in particular the spectacularly vicious title track, is nothing short of a blinder.
Just listen to the speed of the tinkle on that ride cymbal in ‘The Last Fallen’ as the drums rage at speeds unheard of.
As the artillery shells whistle through ‘Narva’ and Mortuus rasps ‘Hammering, keep hammering’ over the top, you just feel like you’re up to your knees in mud and blood.
To be honest I’d left Marduk behind many years ago: ‘Rom 5:12’ was good enough for me.
This is of a whole other order though. A rampage, an absolute wrecking session.
So this, plus the hints that we’ve heard from the new Immortal, point to a glad resurgence of two old faithful black metal standards: and it’s great to have them back.
This absolutely kills. It’s up there with the hardest and fastest stuff going, and has a conviction you can only marvel at 25 years in.
4.3 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 26/06/18