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Album Reviews : Marduk – Wormwood

By on January 11, 2010

And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” (Revelation 8:10, 11 – KJB)

The Apocalypse is nigh, and Marduk have written the ultimate soundtrack for it.

From the intro, with the sound of a man’s voice screaming in terror to the background of cacophonous noise quickly blends into the first track, Nowhere, No-One, Nothing, a relentless barrage of blast beats that slow down into a bass interlude, then rise back into the blast beats. From the very first track, Wormwood takes the listener by the scruff of the neck, kicking and screaming as they are dragged into the deepest pits of Hell.

From the slower songs such as Funeral Dawn, Unclosing the Curse and To Redirect Perdition to pummelling tracks like This Fleshy Void, Into Utter Madness and Phosphorous Redeemer, Wormwood takes the listener through alternating bouts of torment and hypnotic bliss. Indeed, the inspiration behind the album is the chapter in the Book of Revelation as quoted above.

Musically, Wormwood breaks all the rules; the bass has a more prominent prescence, and does more than just simply playing the root note of every guitar chord in each song; samples are added in tracks like To Redirect Perdition, which only enhance the song’s power; and Mortuus’ vocals convey emotion, as opposed to just monotonous, clinical rasping vocals.

And what good is a great album if its presentation isn’t up to the same standard as the music? The cover artwork and layout for Wormwood deliver the goods, with images of hanging executions, torture and death, synonymous with the Apocalyptic theme occurring in the album. The album is available in the standard jewel case and Digipak format; the Digipak format is indeed well worth the few extra dollars. 9.5/10

Band: Marduk
Album: Wormwood
Year: 2009
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Regain Records
Origin: Sweden

Track Listing:

Nowhere, No-One, Nothing
Funeral Dawn <- Reviewer’s choice
This Fleshy Void
Unclosing the Curse
Into Utter Madness <- Reviewer’s choice
Phosphorous Redeemer <-Reviewer’s choice
To Redirect Perdition
Chorus of Cracking Necks <-Reviewer’s choice
As A Garment