MARDUK - World Funeral (BLOODDAWN Records LP 2003)
Do you think that when band, which has a bunch of albums in discography, especially around ten or more albums, if it's possible to keep their best quality on absolutely all of them? I suppose it's possible, but not easy. And if it's not possible, is there a point to keep recording them? Even , which belongs to my favourite black metal bands, has two or three records, which I like much less than the rest of their catalogue. None of them is crap, but some are just boring. "La Grande Danse Macabre" is such weaker album. It does contain two or three great songs, but majority of them is simply dull and forgettable. Another reason, why I dislike this record so much is that my expectations for it were huge, as it came after three fantastic albums, which were "Heaven Shall Burn", "" and " " - real highlights of discography. Luckily "La Grande Danse Macabre" was followed by much better "World Funeral". A solid back in form for the band and much better, more worthy effort than its predecessor. And I say so even though there's absolutely nothing new in style on "World Funeral". Some of you can moan that the music is just too repetitive and foreseeable. Sure, it is, but I don't care. This type of hyper fast black metal is just awesome. Blasts, blasts, blasts again with similar type of riffs, arrangements, song structures and Legion's vocals – I can live with it, if the songs are great then everything's fine for me. And for "World Funeral" they managed to compose some absolutely killer tunes and just pure pleasure to listen to this album. I don't feel the music to be so tired and forced as it was with "La Grande...". More so, this album just bursts out with powerful energy. Play it loud and the speakers will literally blow out, but you will feel that viciousness and satanic might at its best.
I don't really think it's necessary describe "World Funeral" in details. You all know what music is like. Besides, I already mentioned that music is always focused on that characteristic type of vicious / god-raping fast black metal, which you cannot mistake with any other band. But this album is well balanced between fast and slower songs, almost in even proportions, which worked very well, I think. Especially if these slower pieces are such killers like "Bleached Bones" or "To the Death's Head True", which are among the best and most memorable parts of the album. Great riffs! Great hooky vocals. Killer atmosphere. There's also "Castrum ", but this track is not quite as good as "To the Death's..." I think. Finally, "Hearse". It's very song, it was even released as a single. And it definitely is another remarkable piece of this record, I like that despite being much slower than the trademark blasting black metal, it doesn't lack that viciousness, malicious nature and powerful sound.
But of course the main strength lies in the fastest songs. "World Funeral", "With Satan and Victorious Weapons" or "Night of the Long Knives" are just fantastic. I love their intensity, pure violence and aggression that these anthems deliver. It's extreme music, but quite memorable at the same time, these riffs are catchy as hell. this albums has also couple of weaker tracks – together with the mentioned "Castrum ", I think that "Blessed Unholy" is also rather a filler and waste of space. But who cares... They're part of "World Funeral" and let them be.
Oh, I think it's also important to mention that "World Funeral" is the first record, which was recorded without the drummer Andersson. He's been replaced by The Legion drummer Emil . And he did fantastic job, yes. Quite often he plays similar type of patterns as Andersson used to play, but his playing is very tight and fast as hell, so he fitted into the band perfectly.
Standout tracks: "With Satan and Victorious Weapons", "Bleached Bones", "To the Death's Head True", "Night of the Long Knives"