Marduk / Memento Mori , Black Metal Guaranteed To Get Under Your Skin

The hugely influential and often controversial Swedish Black Metal band Marduk return with their fifteenth studio release Memento Mori, the latest edition to their already impressive discography, created over their thirty-three-year career.

Marduk – Memento Mori (Century Media Records)

Release Date: 1 September 2023

Words: Jools Green

Memento Mori, once again, encapsulates the bleak, raw and unrelenting intensity associated with them, so hardened fans will certainly love this album. There is definitely a lot here that will deliver superbly in the live arena, with some catchy as hell brutes on this album.

Marduk - Memento Mori.
Marduk – Memento Mori.

Regarding the album, founder and vocalist Daniel Rostén says that “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.”

Memento Mori is a ten-track, forty-one-minute offering, and the musicianship is top-notch throughout. But the absolute highlight across the album for me is the vocals. They are acidic, at times menacing, scathing and variedly expressive, something that always draws a defining line for a good album for me, and here they are superb.

Opening on the title track, the dark and eerie Memento Mori drives and builds in menacing waves towards the listener. The vocal delivery is punchy and scathingly effective.

Heart Of The Funeral arrives as a complete contrast as a wall of unrelenting rapid riffing. It has a classic Black Metal feel, is hugely engaging, and the acidic vocals are delivered with the same rapidity. A great track.

Blood Of The Funeral Unleashes an absolute frenzy upon you, delivering insane-paced spiralling riffing, with vocals fired at you menacingly. Where it ebbs back in pace, it’s even more sinister. It’s an absolute blistering beast of a track.

Shovel Beats Sceptre is an understatedly powerful piece. One of my favourites of the album, it’s slow dark and sinister as well as very rhythmically precise, topped with expressively intonated protraction on the vocals, which are delivered as two voices by Daniel.

Charlatan starts as a dark, unrelenting driver but drops back slightly to allow for a punchier phrasing when the vocals arrive. At times verging delightfully on the edge of bleak, it does turn into a bit of a pummelling beast towards the close. A hugely engaging and impactful track.

Coffin Carol breaks into an undulating, hypnotic dark drive from the offset, the vocals punching through with menace, and they are expressively protracted at the end of each section of the lyrics to great dramatic effect.

Not surprisingly, opening on the sound of marching, Marching Bones rapidly turns into a driving beast, but it has superb passages dropped in of undulating convoluted riffs giving it a hugely engaging feel. A brutally powerful track, the protraction and punch to the delivery of the words “Marching Bones” across the track is hugely impactful.

I love the exotic leaning to the repeat riff on Year Of The Maggot. It adds interest to what would otherwise just be a brutal driver, and Red Tree Of Blood delivers punchily rhyming lyrics over a driving wall of riffs.

Closing on As We Are, which features additional vocals from the late LG Petrov of Entombed AD, a sombre paced, somewhat hunting, but no less powerful track, with superb bursts of leadwork coursing across the duration of the track.

Memento Mori is a superb listen. It may take several listens to fully get the feel of it, but the more you listen, the more it gets under your skin.

Marduk – Memento Mori – will be available in the following formats and is available to preorder now:

Ltd. Deluxe Gatefold Ultra Clear-Black Splatter Vinyl With Alternative Cover Artwork (Incl. LP-Booklet, Art-Print & Poster) (Limited to 2,000 copies / All Outlets)

Red Gatefold Vinyl (Limited to 300 copies / Available at Century Media Shop)

White Gatefold Vinyl (Limited to 500 copies / Available via Century Media Shop)

Golden Gatefold Vinyl
(Limited to 500 copies / Available at Levykauppa ÄX, Bengans, Supreme Chaos)

Silver Gatefold Vinyl (Limited to 500 copies / Available at EMP and Nuclear Blast)

Black Gatefold Vinyl (All Outlets)

CD Mediabook (All Outlets)

Sleeve Notes

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