1. The Levelling Dust 2. Cold Mouth Prayer 3. Imago Mortis 4. Through The Belly Of Damnation 5. 1651 6. Limbs Of Worship 7. Accuser / Opposer 8. Vanity Of Vanities 9. Womb Of Perishableness 10. Voices From Avignon
Marduk has been destroying the metal scene since 1992's Dark Endless release. Having released 10 studio albums, and a plethora of EP's and live albums, Marduk has proven time and time again, that their black metal assault is growing stronger as the years continue. However, has age, time and another lineup change caught up with the mighty Marduk? Is their latest black metal offering a true testament to their legacy? Well, maybe!
Lets take a quick look back at some of Marduk's earlier releases. Marduk's most vicious offerings to date has to be Panzer Division Marduk - a 30 minute blasting homage to war! Every song took us to the battlefield with pummeling blast beats and enough riffs to make your ears bleed. Then came La Grande Danse Macabre, a slower, less intense offering. After that came World Funeral, which was right inline with the approach of La Grande Danse Macabre. Suddenly, in 2004, they unleashed Plague Angel - an album that showed Marduk's darkest, most intense moments to date.
That brings us to Rom 5:12, a release that showcases all sides of Marduk's past with equal parts speed and brutality, and slower, more doom oriented metal. Their longest release to date (clocking in at just under 1 hour), Rom 5:12 will surely appeal to a wider audience than with past releases. The albums opener, The Levelling Dust, is a mid-paced number with blistering riffs in the classic Marduk fashion. Business picks up with Cold Mouth Prayer as it starts off with a minimalist black metal riff before intensifying into blast beat hell. Imago Mortis, one of the albums longest (and slowest) songs, drags into oblivion before fading into an ambient filled outro. Through The Belly Of, and Limbs of Worship, are reminders of the intensity that was displayed during Plague Angel. Accuser/Opposer shows a slightly new direction for Marduk by incorporating clean vocals as a companion to the dirge-like music. Next comes Vanity of Vanities, the albums most pummeling piece. It is a non-stop black metal attack on the listener that matches the hateful songs from Panzer Division Marduk. Following is Womb of Perishableness - a long, slow, but heavy song that takes us back to the days of World Funeral. The final song on the album is Voices from Avignon, another mid-paced song that picks up the pace in the end and then dies down into sampled sounds from long ago.
Although not my favorite Marduk release, it does have its defining moments of terror-filled black metal. As a fan of Marduk's faster, more aggressive metal, I would rather give Nightwing, Panzer Division Marduk, and Plague Angel a spin than Rom 5:12. It's not that the fast songs on Rom 5:12 are bad, its that the slower songs tend to drag without any direction. However, all-in-all, this will tide me over until their next release.
About this Writer: David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.
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