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Marduk – Plague Angel

Label: Candlelight Records
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Starting out in 1992 with an umpoilished sound like many from this genre, Marduk create Swedish Black Metal from the lower levels of Hell that opposses organized religion and anything holy in nature. Composition wise, Marduk do offer more variety to the music and clarity to the vocals than most and it can be heard as early on in their first few records like "Those of the Unlight" and "Opus Nocturne".

Note, this is Black Metal unlike Dimmu Borgir, this is not orchestrated. Blast beats and machine gunning guitars barrage the listener accompanied by demonic vocals that are slightly varied within its sinister quality. If one is uncomfortable with this style of Metal, then Marduk are not the band to check out. Your ears may be in pain trying to digest this.

The music is relentless, and not entirely made up of consistent blast beats (“Seven Angels, Seven Trumpets”). The track has a slower pace yet still full of darkness, listen to the inclusion of what sounds like a church procession taking place, a nice mood setter and feels blasphemous. “Life’s Emblem” follows and shows how wicked and satanic Marduk’s vocals can be delivered by bringing emphasis to the words “is mine”, nicely done. The militant instrumental “Deathmarch” continues the anti Christianity throughout the unholy church Marduk play to. This band does it right with a balance between chaos and the distinguishable with good production values.

“Plague Angel” is solid Black Metal,dark yet artistic like the black and white disc artwork. A great representation of the genre and I highly recommend to check out. Marduk creatively remain raw and primal in their art to bring their message accross while painting a picture (as dark as it may be) in the same.
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