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Marduk | La Grande Danse Macabre | review | metal | Lollipop


La Grande Danse Macabre (Century Media)
by Paul Lee

What a welcome and predictable pleasure from Sweden's most popular and wonderfully malevolent band. I didn't expect a shift from Marduk's perfected formula of brutish black metal, and with studio album number seven, La Grande Danse Macabre, there are no unpleasant surprises. After all, Marduk aren't Satyricon or Mayhem and don't aspire to be pioneers in the field, but that's what I love about 'em, they're AC/DC for true lovers of Lucifer. Fortunately, Marduk has infused plenty of slow and thunderous tunes to counterbalance the neck-wrecking attack that overwhelmed their unrelenting 1999 opus, Panzer Division Marduk.

...Macabre is a massive epic of eleven songs and will annihilate your enemies like their awesome '98 classic, Nightwing, when properly utilized. Once again recorded at their favorite recording ground, The Abyss, with Tommy Tägtgren (the mighty Peter's brother), LGDM has the crisp, thunderous production we've come to expect from these Swedes. There're two rumbling, oriental-flavored instrumentals, the lead track, "Ars mariendi," and "Pompa Funebris 1600," and three fast-as-hell demonic tunes, "Obedience Unto Death," "Death Sex Ejaculation," and "Jesus Christ... Sodomized." All the rest are Sabbath-slow grinders that give LGDM the variety that Panzer Division sorely lacked, including the Opthalamia-like "Summers End."

Marduk may never be considered one of the progenitors of black metal brilliance, but they always come through with their creative nastiness and have an unparalleled, malevolent sound that separates them from the false black metallers. What they lack in experimentation, they surely make up for in sheer sonic force. If you're a dedicated fan, you may want to track down the limited European edition (on Marduk's own label, Bloodawn Productions) because it includes a good version of Samhain's "Samhain" not on the domestic release.
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