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Marduk
Those of the Unlight

Company: Regain Records
Release: 1993
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Black
Rating
3



  • Elementary it may be, but it deserves credit for its ambition and obvious passion



  • Marduk's career spans some 10 full-lengths and nearly 20 years, making them one of the oldest names in Swedish black metal. As they've aged, their name has become synonymous with speed and resiliency at least on par with famed countrymen Dark Funeral. Perhaps even more than their catalogue, Marduk are notable for their consistency.

    Despite being the archetypal example of the revolving-door black metal band, each album is balanced and equally driven from front to back. This habit has contributed to Marduk's reputation as predictable or unchanging, but that assessment is only partly accurate; Marduk may exercise little variance in technique within a single album, but across LP's their formula has been known to shift quite dramatically. One such change occurred between the group's debut in 'Dark Endless', which was essentially death metal, and its 1993 follow-up, 'Those of the Unlight', which marks the group's first full foray into black metal and is essentially their second debut.

    And in some manners, that inexperience certainly shows. Although the band's arrangements were admittedly more dynamic than most black metal of the early 90's, at this point their songwriting technique was far from mature, and a number of songs are rather aimless (the redundant closure of the title track or the superfluous instrumental 'Echoes From The Past'). It takes distinct breaks from the formula--such as the closing melodic theme of 'On Darkened Wings'--to help the album as a whole seem fresh and dynamic. With these highlights in mind, 'Those...' proves to be a remarkably well realized for such an early effort, combining all the elements so essential to the early Swedish scene. Elementary it may be, but it deserves credit for its ambition and obvious passion.

    Following only a year after 'Dark Endless', this album saw the return of Devo, Jocke, and Morgan Håkansson, the band's rock and sole remaining founder, and introduced the inimitable B. War on bass. On might classify this era of Marduk as part Dissection and part 80's thrash (Sodom shirts appear throughout the booklet), with plenty of headbanging riffs and bass breaks. Still, even at this early stage Morgan's distinctive touch is evident and his knack for harmony put to good use. Also notable are the appropriately chilling vocals that hint at Neige-like (Mortifera) shrieks, such as on 'Burn My Coffin', and a surprisingly balanced and modern production quality overall. (Some may be interested to note that 'Those...' was mastered by one "Dawn" Swano.) Though 'Those of the Unlight' is rarely mentioned as Marduk's best work, it boasts a handful of standout tracks and dominated an era where most of Norway's infamous competitors were still in swaddling clothing.



    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: MARDUK
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Dark EndlessMarduk
    2007
    Etiam9/19/2011
    FrontschweinMarduk
    2015
    David Loveless2/6/2015
    NightwingMarduk
    2008
    Etiam5/3/2012
    Opus NocturneMarduk
    1994
    Etiam6/25/2008
    Plague AngelMarduk
    2005
    Axeman4/29/2005
    Rom 5:12Marduk
    2007
    David Loveless9/28/2007
    Those of the UnlightMarduk
    1993
    Etiam4/25/2008
    WarschauMarduk
    2005
    Etiam10/31/2008


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: MARDUK

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: MARDUK
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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