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Marduk

Label: Regain Records 2008 Reissues
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Germania (Live CD+DVD - 1997)
Nightwing (CD+DVD - 1998)
Panzer Division Marduk (CD - 1999)

Regain Records and Dave from Candlelight Records/Earsplit PR were nice enough to send me all of these Marduk reissues so in return I have decided to do a thorough review including bonus content and track listings along with my comments.

I will start with the current batch of reissues which were all remastered each including new artwork and bonus material.

Germania: Recorded during the German shows of the “Heaven Shall Burn Tour” 1996.

 

Tracks:

CD: 'Beyond The Grace Of God', 'Sulphur Souls', 'The Black', 'Darkness It Shall Be', 'Materialized In Stone', 'Infernal Eternal', 'On Darkened Wings', 'Wolves', 'Untrodden Paths (Wolves Pt. 2)', 'Dracul Va Domni Din Nou In Transilvania', 'Legion', 'Total Desaster'.

Bonus DVD including Marduk's first live appearance outside on Sweden. Recorded in Oslo, Norway in May 1994.

Tracks: Burn My Coffin, A Sculpture of the Night, Wolves, The Black…, On Darkened Wings, Sulphur Souls.

Comments: The live audio disc here was originally a professional recording with assistance from Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy) and has a pretty decent sound for the time. The DVD footage (as with all the reissues are licensed under Marduk’s Blooddawn Productions) is not professionally done. It’s a very small intimate show which by the looks of it was held in a small hall. Still the camera is very close to the band and the picture is not all that bad. Pretty decent for a bootleg. The booklet includes a live pic of each band member.

Panzer Division Marduk:

Tracks: 'Panzer Division Marduk', 'Baptism By Fire', 'Christraping Black Metal', 'Scorched Earth', 'Beast Of Prey', 'Blooddawn', '502', 'Fistfucking God's Planet'.

Bonus tracks: 'Deathride', 'Todeskessel Kurland', Fan made video: 'Panzer Division Marduk'.

Comments: Of all these reissues Panzer Division features some well done booklet repackaging and a nicely edited raw fan made video for the album’s title track. To go with the military theme of the album, the expanded booklet includes graphic black and white WWII artwork and lyrics. Musically, this album is pretty one dimensional unfortunately as it is littered with blast beats galore and machine gun guitar riffs. Very redundant.

Nightwing:

Tracks:

CD: 'Preludium', 'Bloodtide (XXX)', 'Of Hells Fire', 'Slay The Nazarene', 'Nightwing', 'Dreams Of Blood And Iron', 'Dracole Wayda', 'Kaziklu Bay - The Lord Impaler', 'Deme Quaden Thyrane', 'Anno Domini 1476'.

DVD: (Blood Of The Saints - Rotterdam 5th of April 1998) 'Over Hells Fire', 'Those Of The Unlight', 'Slay The Nazarene', 'The Black...', 'Still Fucking Dead', 'Sulphur Souls', 'Dreams Of Blood And Iron', 'Beyond The Grace Of God'.

Comments: 1997’s “Nightwing” is where Marduk again started incorporating intros (Preludium), adding different sounds and arrangement ideas changing up the song tempos slowing them down a bit for variety heard on “Dreams of Blood and Iron” and “Anno Domini 1476”.

The live concert footage is a one camera bootleg and of fair quality. Its hard to hear some of the vocals but for all these reissues Marduk have put time into the concerts. All including menus and track listings with song titles that appear before each song. “Nightwing” visually has the strongest booklet complete with graphic art and lyrics.




 
2007 Reissues: - Dark Endless (1992)

- Those Of The Unlight (1993)
- Opus Nocturne (1994)
- Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered (1996)


Bonus material: “Dark Endless”, “Those of the Unlight”, “Opus”, and “Heaven Shall Burn” are the first four albums also remastered and repackaged with each featuring new artwork, pictures and lyrics.

The debut “Dark Endless” includes five bonus live songs recorded in 1991, “Those of Unlight”: three live video tracks, “Opus Nocturne”; studio rehearsals of four songs from 1991, and “Heaven Shall Burn”; four demos that include an instrumental version of the title track for the 1996 E.p. “Glorification”.

Comments: With the first four albums, and really all of Marduk’s catalogue (as with a lot of black metal), much of this sounds the same given the genre. I know it comes with the territory. A few exceptions, the title track to “Dark Endless” begins slower as does the opening riff to “Holy Inquisition”. But for another example with “Materialized in Stone” a slowed down beat and more controlled riffing with a touch of melody doesn’t take away from the blood curdling voice and the track still makes its impact.

“Echoes from the Past” from “Those of Unlight” is even better with a clean guitar and organic sound effects. A piece that transforms into this very Manowarish epic ride out with electric guitars and drums but this type of variety is far and few between. Bathory use to do this type of composing to add dimension.

Mind you I can appreciate the art form for what it represents; darkness, a raw, primal, unrestrained nature, an opposition to organized religion, it does make the music form unique, but these artists do need to find a way to add more variety especially with the voice.

Infernal Eternal: (Live – 2000)

Disk 1: Panzer Division Marduk, Burn My Coffin, Baptism By Fire, The Sun Turns Black As Night, Of Hells Fire, 502, Materialized In Stone, Beast Of Prey, Those Of The Unlight, Sulphur Souls, Dreams of Blood and Iron, Fistfucking God`s Planet. Disk 2: On Darkened Wings, Into The Crypts Of Rays, Still fucking Dead, Slay the Nazarene, Departure from the Mortals, Legion.

La Grande Danse Macabre (Remastered): (CD+DVD – 2001)

Tracks: Ars Moriendi, Azrael, Pompa Funebris 1660, Obedience Unto Death, Bonds of Unholy Matrimony, La Grande Danse Macabre, Death Sex Ejaculation, Funeral B*tch, Summers End, Jesus Christ...Sodomized, Samhain (bonus track).

DVD: Live Essen, Germany 2002:

Tracks: On Darkened Wings, Panzer Division Marduk, Sulphur Souls, Funeral B*tch, The Black Tormentor of Satan, Still Dead, Jesus Christ...Sodomized, La Grande Danse Macabre, Slay the Nazarene.

Comments: “La Grande Danse Macabre” was the start to the artistic direction found on recent releases “Plague Angel” and “ROM 5.12”. More variety in the arrangements, the inclusion of an instrumental called “Pompa Funebris 1660”, different riffing aside from the same old blazing delivery, and tempos can be heard without abandoning the black metal blast beats. The DVD concert footage here (from 2001) is the clearest of all these reissues. Again a one camera shot bootleg with pretty decent audio.
 
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