Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Marduk- 'World Funeral' 2014 Re-Issue CD Edition

This is a classic Marduk album, one whose songs remain in their live set to this day. Originally released in 2003, this release marks the last with Legion on vocals and the departure of Fredrick Andersson on drums.
To date, Fredrick is my favorite drummer for Marduk, he managed to fuse complexity and incessancy into a brutal and unforgiving whole better than most drummers I've heard. As an immediate comparison, I lean towards Proscriptor McGovern of Absu, however Proscriptor's style relies less on blast beats and more on complexity and cymbal work.
I really enjoy Legion on vocals for Marduk, but I'm not sure that he's my favorite. He probably wrote the most thought-out and poetic of Marduk's lyrics, but those found on 'Dark Endless' are probably my favorite. Legion was probably their most O.C.D. lyricist also, as he can stick to a concept rather well (see the 'Nightwing,' 'Panzer Division Marduk,' and 'La Grande Danse Macabre' trilogy) Legion has great delivery and a great voice with better-than-average range, but Mortuus (the current vocalist) has great stage presence and thick accent that I think adds to Marduk's thematic troupes (most particularly war as his accent calls easily to mind Europe and the ravages of war upon it), I am especially excited to see how this works on the new 'Frontschwein' album.

Anyway, I haven't owned copy of this for many years, having sold my copy for a fair price when the reissues of the older albums were first coming out in the mid/late 2000's, thinking it would be wise to pick up an expanded/remastered edition later and make some money now. Plus I had a digital backup. Well, the re-issue didn't come out until 2014 and my digital copy was lost in a hard-drive crash, so here we are.

This edition features new artwork, notes on Marduk's touring schedule and lineup changes during the album release period, as well as a cover of Possessed's "Phantasm" originally released on Marduk's "Hearse" single from this album. Also, we get a previously unreleased 6 track pre-album-recording rehearsal from 2002. The rehearsal is not included on the vinyl version of the re-issue, hence I ordered the CD version. The quality is decent for a rehearsal, the rawness of the mix inherent works well for some of the tracks as the mix is more balanced than on the guitar-heavy album versions. Until Devo Andersson returned to the Marduk fold and started producing the albums, I feel that Marduk's albums often suffered from mixing that obscured the skill of all the band members, especially the string of incredible drummers Marduk has had. Their guitar work is what sets them apart from other Black Metal acts, in my mind, but the whole Marduk sound is easily appreciable by those with an interest in this style. The remastering does help a bit in this department, most notably in the bass tracks and clarity of guitar riffs.

*Review and photos copyright The Samnambulist, 2015*

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