Reviewed: April 2003
Released: 2003, Regain Records
Reviewer: The Punishment Due
Marduk have arose from the shadows of The Abyss studio with their 8th full length release – WORLD FUNERAL. This album opens with a brief sound clip of some old guy shouting “I am inspired by the devil!” then the opening riff begins. A monster drum fill follows, and then you’re assaulted with tonnes of blast beats, and they are some of the heaviest, most blistering blasts I’ve heard. They’re not quite as crushing as Vader’s – LITANY, but they’re definitely playing in the same ballpark. The opening song titled “With Satan And Victorious Weapons” is just under four minutes of very intense blasting a very fast riffing… just pretty typical Marduk stuff. The second track “Bleached Bones” is totally the opposite; very slow with the same few riffs played in sequence for over 5 minutes. And these two songs serve as prime examples of what to expect from then on. It’s either really REALLY fast and brutal, or else it’s really slow with big heavy power chords gradually pushing the song along while Emil gets a less punishing job to perform on the sticks.
For those who are familiar with their last release LA GRANDE DANSE MACABRE, this album is not completely different musically. If you are familiar, then you’ll know just what I meant in that paragraph above. This effort is more cleanly produced with a much heavier sound, especially the drums. When Emil is blasting (which he does A LOT) it really does sound like total havoc. Morgan’s guitar performance is as superb as ever. Amongst the blast beats that rain down with a hellish fury, and Legion’s throat cutting rasps, there is a fantastic display of technical wizardry. A lot of intricate riffs come together at high-speed tempos in tracks that are by and large complicated works of art. Of course I’m talking more about the typical “BLAST BLAST BLAST BLAST” Marduk style songs. To be honest, the slower tracks do very little for me. I’m not saying they’re outright bad songs, but for me personally they are snooze sessions wasting time that could have been used for good, fast and brutal songs. I guess part of the reason is that because there are several slow songs scattered across this album, and this causes the album to lose a lot of power and flow overall.
Along with the opening track, I was very impressed by the title track and “Blessed Unholy.” But without a doubt, the greatest song on this CD is “Night Of The Long Knives.” It’s a totally brutal onslaught for 2 minutes and 40 seconds, followed by a mid-paced, very epic stretch that has a truly beautiful melody whilst still being heavy. The song then reverts back to and finishes with *surprise surprise* a shitload of the usual! It’s a pity this is followed by snail-paced bore of a song that really doesn’t offer anything other than 5 minutes to go to the kitchen and make a brew. In closing, the songs that were good were VERY VERY good, and the one’s that weren’t just bored me to tears. So as disappointing as it is to hear songs of such sub-par quality on the new release, it’s still pleasing to hear that they still know how to make a classic bruiser of a song, and that consistency is the only thing they lack.
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