Three listens back to back to back of Wormwood will leave you laying on the floor in a pool of drool, even if you are up to date on your inoculations. To paraphrase Legion, if you don’t know what Marduk is what the hell are you doing here.  Marduk has a history of short intros, some just a few seconds and then exploding up from the depths full force. This time the intro is quiet enough and long enough to get you to turn up the volume and quiet enough to trick the iTunes volume analyzer, the result of which is when the song actually starts it packs quite a wallop, and keeps you reeling right to the end of “Nowhere, No-One, Nothing.”

Relentless is a word long associated with Marduk, so is atmosphere, but now we are introduced to virtuosity. This is easily the most dynamic Marduk release to date, with hair raising twists and turns at full blastbeat driven speed as well as sharply dissected leads and dark slow doomy passages all laced together with killer bass lines that are more clean and louder in the mix. About time bass guitar got reintroduced to black metal, thanks Devo. The songs are layered with guitars and vocals that lend an edge of your seat insanity that bears little connection to the warp speed segments and more to the dark complexity of the vertigo inducing seething maelstrom  that is Mortuus and Morgan. The drums get overshadowed a bit, which is cool, yet they shine in the plentiful slower and slow passages, atmospheric fireworks abound.

The production values are excellent, thanks go to Devo. This is easily the most powerful Mortuus has sounded yet. The arrival of Mortuus and Devo a few years back has caused a feeding frenzy resulting in new levels of inspiration and devotion to songwriting. Former Excessum drummer Lars Broddesson is fitting right in, lets hope he stays longer than Emil. If the goal from a studio album for a major touring band is to get some new songs to add to the set list, Marduk has added six or seven serious contenders to still be on that set list ten years from now, and considering the strength and length of their back catalog that would be quite the achievement.

Many of Marduk’s shining moments, especially live, were with Legion at the microphone, but now with Mortuus, he shows off just how decidedly one dimensional Legion was, Hail Legion I salute you with a horn overflowing with christian blood for all your years of dedication and countless killer live performances, you will not be forgotten, but damn, Mortuus is awesome, the true Marduk voice has arrived, hell the voice of black metal. Imagine me getting this far into the review and not mentioning the lyrics. Trust me, they are just as visceral and blasphemous as ever, no worries.

Any fan of real metal out there that has never given Marduk a try before this is your chance, bandwagon jumpers better be quick about it, any hesitation will result in that run down feeling. Killer songs include, but are not limited to, “Nowhere, No-One, Nothing”, “Funeral Dawn”, “Into Utter Madness”, “Phosphorous Redeemer”, “To Redirect Perdition”, “Chorus Of Cracking Necks”, “As A Garment.”

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
October 6th, 2009


  1. Commented by: slimylimey

    Great review Grim. Mortuus is the best thing that’s ever happened to this band, and if this album’s even half as good as Maranatha, it’ll still be way better than just about everything else that’s come out this year.

  2. Commented by: Heathen

    Album of the year. Simple as that. Masterpiece.

  3. Commented by: Barfneck

    Listened to this once through and absolutely hated it. Reminded me of “La Grande Danse Macabre” which I think is their worst album to date. Maybe I’ll give it another shot in a couple weeks.

  4. Commented by: Dimaension X

    I don’t know if this is a “masterpiece”, but it certainly is a very good album. Marduk continue to outclass the other Swedish Speedsters like Dark Funeral and Setherial by using dynamics and varying song tempo. And writing “songs” instead of just speedy blasts of, well, blasting.

    Production is definitely the best yet by this version of the band. Devo proves to be as interesting a bassist as B-War.

  5. Commented by: Blackwater Park

    On the 1st listen I thought it sucked. On 2nd listen I was totally at the mercy of its grandeur. Gonna give it a 3rd listen and I expect to be blown away!

  6. Commented by: oldestpunkinargentina

    Sorry to disagree but I own everything Marduk ever recorded till this one. Fortunately I didn’t buy but borrowed it before, because I find it so generic and predictable it didn’t seem like the Marduk I grew to love. The beginning of the end to me, since every subsequent Marduk album has followed the same path. What a pity.

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Trocar - Extremities
  • Vesperian Sorrow - Awaken the Greylight
  • From Dying Suns - Calamity
  • Volcandra - The Way of the Ancients
  • Kosuke Hashida - Justifiable Homicide
  • The Dread Crew of Oddwood - Rust & Glory
  • Six Feet Under - Killing For Revenge
  • Skulldozer - Non Stop Ruthless Crushing
  • Synestia/Disembodied Tyrant  - The Poetic Edda EP
  • Necropanther - Oblivion Jones: A Tale of False Consciousness EP
  • Sarcasm - Mourninghoul
  • Satanic North - Satanic North
  • Stygian Crown - Funeral for a King
  • Desolus - System Shock
  • Korpiklaani - Rankarumpu