November 13, 2009 | , | 4.5

Marduk, Wormwood

Marduk: Wormwood

Wormwood, the latest blistering slab of Scandinavian black metal from Marduk, is another notch in the inverted cross that is the band’s discography. I’ve listened to this disc numerous times now and still can’t choose a single favorite track — each song is amazing in their own right. Through the varying deliveries and styles that the band incorporates in Wormwood, they have created an impenetrable fortress of evil.

With Mortuus’ insidious vocal delivery, the band launch from sand blasting rhythms to suffocatingly black atmospheres smoothly — all the while retaining their patented wall of churning black metal. Every ebb and flow of the band’s stygian waters is dealt with malevolence and an energetic fervor. Even if you’re not a fan of black metal, the churning chaos that Marduk brings to the table is something that transcends genres.

Nowhere, No-One, Nothing
The opening track lets you know almost immediately that you’re in for one hell of a ride. After a few short seconds of distant noise to build the mood, Marduk unleash a blasting fury of crushing riffs, belching vocals and unrelenting drums. This song is flat out evil in every sense. I love the psychotic feel to Mortuss’s delivery — it’s all over the place, yet fits the band’s sound perfectly.

Funeral Dawn
“Funeral Dawn” slows things down a bit after that raucous start. It has plenty of dark atmosphere and mood, yet also contains some of the more memorable guitar work. The feel of this song is weighty. It’s a thick song that suffocates the listener in all sorts of shrouded darkness. The slow down around 3:20 has an eerie feel to it that’s a nice touch. For as slowly paced as this song is, it’s infectious and one of my favorite on the album.

This Fleshly Void
A bit of a maddening start to this next song gets things underway before rapid fire drumming overwhelms the layered vocals. This one is straight up black metal mayhem from Marduk. The vocals have the feeling of being layered upon one another as they tumble out of the speakers making the song that much more evil. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but the band just ramped up the speed a good deal around 1:40 from an already blistering pace.

Unclosing The Curse
“Unclosing the Curse” starts off with a weird vibe of bells and thudding bass lines as Mortuus screams in the distance. The opening minute feels like I’m sitting in my own coffin waiting for the worms to come as I’m slowly covered with six feet of dark soil. Lovely.

Into Utter Madness
After that short two minute experimental track, Marduk gets back down to business with the churning monstrosity that is “Into Utter Madness.” This song is violent, dark and unrelenting in its blasting pace. Layered vocals and belches serve this song nicely, adding some rich depth. There’s so much hitting you all at one with this song, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed by the massive wall of destruction coming your way. I love the bass work that ends out the song.

Phosphorous Redeemer
“Phosphorous Redeemer” takes the first minute or so to lull you into their dark embrace with distant vocals and guitars before snapping your neck and disemboweling you shortly there after with bludgeoning rhythms and vehement vocals. The churning mass of black metal that follows is evil and destructive, yet still quite infectious and memorable. This track is freakin’ great and has more than enough of everything to keep your thoroughly entertained.

To Redirect Perdition
The opening guitar work for “To Redirect Perdition” is accompanied by a few tortured screams before Mortuus really lets loose with his varied delivery. The pace and riffing remains moderately paced for the first minute or so before switching into a blackened doom sort of vibe. This song is a real departure from the rest of the album and is massively heavy and dark. Man, Mortuus’ delivery is intense.

Tortured guitars fade in from the silence for a bit before thundering drums show up. Mortuus’s blasphemous growls and shrieks arrive just before the one minute mark as the pace increases. This song will leave you dizzy after bombarding you with churning, swirling guitars and pummeling drums. I like the subtle touch of melody around 2:40. The sound clip that follows feels a bit out of place, but seems to work as it devolves into a muddled mess. This is a pretty sweet track.

Chorus Of Cracking Necks
I love the title to this next song — evil, yet classic. “Chorus of Cracking Necks” starts off with distant guitar before erupting at :20 with a huge blast of drums and driving riffs. Mortuus’ vocals are just as vehement as ever, if not a bit more aggressive in their delivery. I can only assume that the cracking necks would be those of their fan base as they try and keep up with the hellish pace.

As A Garment
Thick bass and steady drums get the final song off to an interesting start with some chill grooves. But that’s all quickly erased from memory when Mortuus and thick riffs show up around :50. Overall, this one’s got a more subdued feel. It’s dark, but not as evil sounding as the rest of the album. There seems to be more focus on the vocals than the rest of the band and serves as a slightly experimental way to round out a damned good album.

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