Marduk – Memento Mori Review

Marduk promised, Marduk delivered. When releasing the single “Shovel Beats Sceptre” frontman Daniel Rostén shared: “’Memento Mori’ is, all at once, a bold leap forward, a calculated sidestep, and a wistful backward glance. Meaning, we have broken new ground without forgetting our legacy or the journey that brought us to this point.” That’s exactly what I have felt while listening to the album. “Memento Mori” is as raw as an album from a big recording company can be – at the moment Marduk are under a Century Media contract. Going on the opposite direction of many of their peers, the band doesn’t seem to be fascinated with the shinning diamonds from the big guns of the industry. Die-hard fans thank the band for that. I dare to say “Memento Mori” comes right from the tumbs of early 1990’s releases. For that reason, I invite my dear child of the night to commence the listening by “Marching Bones” and check out what I’m saying.

This is the kind of review that started to be written the moment I received the EPK. Needless to say “Memento Mori” was one of the most awaited album of the year. No use to say it was worth all the waiting. Marduk came with all their guns blazing in a hypnotic and mesmerzing way. The album makes the fan breathless from day one with tittle track and trigger track “Memento Mori.” The track isn’t exactly the best of the album, but it’s a great appetizer for what is to come with its crescendo intro that leads to a storm of guitars. Yeah, a storm of guitars seems to be right term for what the fan will hear. The chord instruments are the highlight of the album because this album is one of rare opportunities in Metal music to listen perfectly the metallic bass lines. Also a rare opportunity to see how bassist Devo Andersson besides giving the pulse of the song contributes with the insane mood the guitars create. When “Heart of the Funeral” comes my dear child of the night understands why I said this is an album of mesmerizing and hipnotic guitars. The insane chord massacre guitarist Morgan Hakansson does here has to be taken as a lesson of how to be absolutely frentic, and yet, full of sense regarding to Black Metal guitars. His overtones are so clear making it possible to understand all the bloodshed he imposes to his guitars. It’s been a while this kind of combination wasn’t heard here. Even in tracks as “Charlatan” where he slows down a little the insane mood remains and, here, the bass takes the lead contriibuting with the madness. Pay close attention to the insane mesmerizing riffing of “Coffin Carol.” Simple, raw, and yet, ingenious. It seems easy to play it, but not at the speed they do.

Ok, now a little about Daniel Rostén vocals. Besides adding some modern Extreme Metal techniques and sonancies to the band, the guy brings back the relentless low tuned harsh vocals inspired on Motörhead and Venom. It’s interesting how along the album he changes his technique adding some more textures to the songs.

“Memento Mori” is an album to be reminded. I have no shadow of doubt that it will be considered one of the best of this year.

P.S.: There are no guitar leads here, but I haven’t missed them at all. I doubt the fan that stays put with “Marching Bones”!

P.S.2: Of course I’m aware of all the controversies the band has been in. There are too many not to, but I’d rather focus on the music. Truth is Black Metal was built on all kinds of controversies. However, truth to be said, Marduk were smart here in giving their response writing a hell of an album. Hard not to care about this either.

Marduk “Memento Mori” will be released on September 01st via Century Media.

Track Listing:

  1. Memento Mori
  2. Heart of the Funeral
  3. Blood of the Funeral
  4. Shovel Beats Sceptre
  5. Charlatan
  6. Coffin Carol
  7. Marching Bones
  8. Year of the Maggot
  9. Red Tree of Blood
  10. As We Are

Watch “Blood of the Funeral” official music video here: