lördag 19 augusti 2017

TWO BRILLIANT ARCKANUM RECORDS

These two great vinyl boxes was released last year in 2016 for two of Arckanum's best records Antikosmos (2008) and ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ (2009).

My first encounter with the band was in the mid 90s with their debut album Fran Marder (1995) on the then brilliant Necropolis Records.

Ever since that I've been a fan of only member Shamaatae's one man band. In 1993 the band had a vocalist Sataros the brother of Shamaatae and guitarist Loke Svarteld they performed on the demos Rehearsal 1993 and Demo 1993.

Antikosmos was almost like a comeback album their first full length record since Kampen (1998) nearly 10 years ago. Even if they released four 7" EPs during that time.

One of them was as a split with Svartsyn (also on CD), another 7" with Contamino and The 11 Year Anniversary Album with rare & unreleased material. Most of those were released on Shamaatae's own Carnal Records.

Anyway Antikosmos and ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ was released just 11 months apart with guest session appearance by former Dissection guitarist Set Teitan on both albums. ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ is the better one of these two but you should get both in opinion if you want some very unique Swedish Black Metal.

These are almost like a Volume I & II even if the first one was recorded in Sunlight Studio and the other one in Stage One Studio. Both are some of the best Black Metal records of the 2000s.

Arckanum might not be for everyone but I urge anyone to give them a listen if you're unfamiliar with them. If you want to start with the debut Fran Marder or these 2000's releases either way you're in for one hell of a ride.

Kostogher (1997) and Kampen (1998) are also great records even if I think that Kampen is the weakest of the first five Arckanum full length studio albums.

A very unique band that should get more attention and in my book Arckanum are fucking amazing!!

söndag 13 augusti 2017

RANKING OF ALL 13 MARDUK FULL LENGTH STUDIO ALBUMS

Like the title says I will be ranking all 13 Marduk studio albums today. Ever since I started listening to the Black Metal genre in 1994 Marduk has been one of my all time favorite bands in the scene. Still to this day after playing for 27 years (!!) they still release excellent records.

Published on my Instagram Herr_Perdition in 2 parts the albums ranked 13-7 and 6-1. It's most for fun I could probably change my mind. Okay my two least favorite ones were "easy" to pick out, even if I don't think any of these albums are bad. But there's of course better ones then the others.

However my top-2 albums will probably never change!

The ones ranked 10-7 was really hard to chose on this list. That's when I could change my mind depending on what my mood is on that day and also my 3rd favorite Marduk album.

But on this day the 13th of August 2017 this is my opinion. Since I'm only doing full length studio albums EP's that I would rank very high like the 1991 demo reissued on CD in 1994 Fuck Me Jesus definitely in my top-3 Marduk releases ever. Also the classic Here's No Peace recording from December 91 but not released until 1997 would also rank high.

Will probably never do a list of all their EP's basically because it's too hard. Check out my complete Marduk EP collection (well every release not every print version) over HERE.

Due to the text limitations that Instagram got I'll write more in depth of each and every album here.

13. La Grande Danse Macabre (2001)
First print LP on Blooddawn Productions/Regain Records limited to 1000 copies

Some record had to take the last place it was pretty easy. La Grande Danse Macabre I do like this album it has the brilliant track Azrael. Other great songs like Jesus Christ... Sodomized and Funeral Bitch. Even if I do prefer the Obedience (2000) EP version better of Funeral Bitch. The rest ain't bad but average by Marduk standards.

This was the excellent longtime drummer Fredrik Andersson last album with the band after being a member since 1993. He sure showed his skills on all the records he played on during those years and Fredrik will always be my favorite Marduk drummer.

Read more about the album here.

12. Nightwing (1998)
Reissue LP from 2016 on Osmose Productions

Nightwing have some great songs like my favorites Of Hell's Fire and Slay The Nazarene I also really like the title track Nightwing. The other ones are not on par with those awesome tracks.

Why they re-recorded Deme Quaden Thyrane I don't understand!? It was already perfect on Opus Nocturne 4 year earlier. A very strange decision in my opinion...

Still remember buying Nightwing in 1998 on CD and the bus ride back home mainly because an old friend (who introduced me to Megadeth, Slayer, King Diamond etc.) saw me with the record and he thought Black Metal was ridiculous. I didn't give a shit about his moronic opinions.

However the Nightwing album wasn't played that often back in the day. This one doesn't match the rest of their discography and hasn't aged well either.

Peter Tägtgren recorded some great albums with Marduk and the production was for the most part great. But on Nightwing the guitars are boring and overall the sound and production is very weak in my opinion. I know that some people rate this one much higher in their Marduk "best of albums" ever. Although not bad it's definitely one of my least favorite Marduk records.

11. World Funeral (2003)
First print LP on Blooddawn Production limited to 1500 copies

World Funeral might just be the most underrated album in the entire Marduk discography! Despite the fact that I only rank this album at number 11 and 3rd to last on my list.

This was the last Marduk album to be recorded with Peter Tägtgren as producer in The Abyss Studio. Even more significant the last record to feature B. War on bass after 12 years with the band and vocalist Legion last one after 8 years in Marduk.

Many have different opinions about Legion's performance with the band especially live. I think he did a great job on the albums and most of the time live. Even though I think the band needed a change both musically and their appearance/image, layout and design in order to progress. They sure got it! Already on La Grande Danse Macabre it was very evident that something needed to be "fixed".

World Funeral it's consistently good throughout and it sounds great. The highlight songs on it for me are: With Satan And Victorious Weapons; Bleached Bones; To the Death's Head True; Hearse; Blessed Unholy; Night Of The Long Knives also the instrumental Blackcrowned.

My absolute favorite on the album is Cloven Hoof. I mentioned 8 of the 11 songs so it's certainly an amazing record.

Read more about the album here.


10. Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered (1996)
Shadow Records picture disc LP from 1997 unsure how many copies exists 300-500 (?)

Now I know that this will be a controversial choice! Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered are some peoples favorite Marduk record. I understand why because this one is fucking awesome.

Last year in December 2016 they also performed the entire album in their hometown of Norrköping as a 20th anniversary celebration of its release I guess. During 2017 they actually performed the whole album from start to finish in their live setlist on selective gigs.

This was the first Marduk album to be recorded with Peter Tägtgren in the Abyss Studio and the first one to feature Legion on vocals previously from another brilliant Swedish band Ophthalmia. It sounds awesome and all tracks are great but the ones that stands out most in my opinion are Legion; The Black Tormentor of Satan; Glorification Of The Black God; Darkness It Shall Be; Infernal Eternal and Dracul Va Domni Din Nou In Transilvania.

But I could mention all the songs on the album because that's really how outstanding this is! On another day this would probably rank much higher.

For the tour of this record Peter Tägtgren was actually the 2nd guitar player next to Morgan Håkansson and this tour spawned the great Live In Germania (1997) live album. You can see my ranking of the three Marduk live records on Instagram if you're interested in that.

Read more about the album here.

9. Dark Endless (1992)
2012 LP reissue on Century Media/Blooddawn Production limited to 1500 copies

Guess this is another "controversial" choice. I absolutely think that Dark Endless is a classic album in the genre that everyone should own. But... The production is far from not perfected even if it got an early charm of course.

It's very strange considering their demo Fuck Me Jesus & Here's No Peace also was recorded with Dan Swanö in the Unisound Studio aka. Hellspawn/Gorysound. Those recordings sounds so much more grim and harsh even if the band still had a Blackened Death Metal sound to it.

The record was released on the once great record label No Fashion Records and the album has so many great classic songs like The Black...; Departure from the Mortals; Within the Abyss; Still Fucking Dead (Here's No Peace); The Funeral Seemed To Be Endless; Dark Endless; The Sun Turns Black As Night and Holy Inquisition.

Btw. this is one of the most ugliest cover artwork in Marduk's whole album discography in my opinion. It doesn't look Black Metal at all! It has a sort of Death/Thrash Metal vibe to it. But who the hell cares when the the music is this amazing!

Read more about the album here.

8. Wormwood (2009)
First print LP limited to 700 copies released on Blooddawn Productions

This is a a fantastic album and Wormwood was the 3rd Marduk album to feature my favorite vocalist in the scene Daniel "Mortuus" Rostén (aka. Arioch of Funeral Mist & Triumphator) also this is the first record with Lars Broddesson (2006-13) on drums.

The production in bassist Davo Andersson's Endarker Studio is great and the album starts with the brilliant song Nowhere, No One, Nothing. Other outstanding tracks are Into Utter Madness and the 3 songs that reminds a bit of Funeral Mist: Unclosing the Curse; Chorus of Cracking Necks and Funeral Dawn. Other great ones are Whorecrown and Phosphorous Redeemer and altogether an awesome solid and even record.

As stated earlier Heaven Shall Burn.., Dark Endless and Wormwood was the hardest to rank. All 3 are essential in any serious Black Metal collection!

Read more about the album here.

7. Frontschwein (2015)
First print LP released by Century Media/Blooddawn Productions

Their latest album Frontschwein was released after the band had been together for 25 years. How many bands still deliver the goods after such a long time? Not many!

Maybe Darkthrone is the only band I could compare them with in terms of as many albums released and still being amazing.

Marduk sure is a unique band even if only guitarist Morgan Håkansson is the only remaining founding member since they started in 1990.

Anyway this album is an absolute monster it starts of with the great title track Frontschwein and then the awesome The Blond Beast and Afrika. Other songs I got to mention is Wartheland; Between The Wolf-Packs and 503, but the whole album is a beast and should be played from start to finish.

6. Panzer Division Marduk (1999)
2011 picture disc reissue on Blooddawn Productions

I still remember when I got Panzer Division Marduk on release day and being completely blown away by it. Still have that effect on me after 19 years later. In my opinion the best album of the "Legion era". This was the 3rd studio album with him as frontman.

I think of this as Marduk's love / hate album either you think it's awesome or you might think it's just an album where they only try to play as fast as humanly possible.

Sure one cannot go with what people think about it on Metal Archives but a 66% rating is the lowest of all Marduk full length studio albums. Come on you fucking people...

Nightwing had been I bit of a letdown according to me. On this one Peter Tägtgren and Marduk redeemed themselves with a timeless classic Black Metal album. If I were to name a few favorites songs I think that the title track Panzer Division Marduk has to be mentioned first. It's almost like their anthem song and the most played song live according to setlist.fm, don't know how accurate that is. Nevertheless a classic song.

Other brilliant songs are Baptism By Fire; 502; Fistfucking God's Planet; Christraping Black Metal; Blooddawn and Beast Of Prey. But I could mention every song on this masterpiece.

Read more about the album here,

5. Serpent Sermon (2012)
First print LP on Century Media/Blooddawn Productions

Serpent Sermon was the 4th album that the band recorded with Mortuus and Devo Andersson. Once again Marduk made an amazing record with this one. It's also one of their most balanced and even albums they ever made.

Sure it has excellent standout songs like Souls For Belial; Serpent Sermon; Temple Of Decay; Into Second Death; Messianic Pestilence etc.

It's just a pure pleasure to listen to this one from start to finish and enjoy the perfect production and songwriting. Have no complaints about this one. An extremely underrated album in the Marduk discography in my opinion.

4. Plague Angel (2004)
2018 clear LP reissue on Century Media limited to 300-500 copies (?)

Plague Angel was the first album to feature Mortuus and I think Marduk got a fresh start/reboot.

Considering what Mortuus/Arioch had accomplished with Funeral Mist and Triumphator I cannot think of a better vocalist in Marduk. Also the fact that Devo Andersson (guitarist 1992-94) returned to the band as bass player and been in the band ever since had an impact I believe.

They released Plague Angel just 1 year and 9 months after World Funeral and the band had made a huge progress in that short time.

It's still the same band but the image and music got much more intense. Just compare the promo videos from the 2 mentioned albums.

This was also the first time they used Devo Anderssons's Endarker Studio after 7 years (5 full length studio albums, 2 live albums and 3 EP's) with Peter Tägtgren in his The Abyss Studio.

It's getting really hard to pick favorite songs because this is one hell of an album without any filler material. But Seven Angels, Seven Trumpets; The Hangman Of Prague; Warschau; Throne of Rats; Perish In Flames; Steel Inferno and the collaboration with the excellent Swedish martial industrial ambient band Arditi on Deathmarch also got to be mentioned.

Read more about the album here.

3. Rom 5:12 (2007)
First print picture disc LP released on Blooddawn Production limited to 500 copies

Number 3 on the list this was also a hard choice between Plague Angel and this one but today I will pick Rom 5:12. The second studio album with Mortuus and his contribution is more present on this album then on the previous one I think.

He designed the album layout, he also has a graphic company called Holy Poison. Just like the great designs he made for Funeral Mist is's great to see in Marduk. I recommend getting the original CD release also that comes with a 44-page booklet.

Excellent songs like The Leveling Dust; Cold Mouth Prayer (feat. their former vocalist Joakim Af Gravf); Imago Mortis; Accuser/Opposer (feat. A.A. Nemtheanga on vocals from Primordial); Vanity Of Vanities; Womb of Perishableness and again a Arditi collaboration on the song 1651 are some of the highlights.

I sound like a broken record. but listen to this from start to finish! You'll get the whole experience of this dark artwork so much better that way.

Read more about the album here.

2. Those of the Unlight (1993)
Osmose Productions LP reissue from 2013

Those Of The Unlight was the second Marduk album and the second Marduk album I ever bought in 1994 on CD. An album that shouldn't need any introduction and should be in everyone's collection.

The band had really progressed from their debut and I think Dan Swanö also had grown as a producer. The Blackened Death Metal feeling on their previous Dark Endless was gone and this is just pure Swedish Black Metal magic.

I know this album inside out after listening to it so much in the 90's (and still do). Not one bad second on this record and some of the best ever Marduk songs is on this one. Like Wolves; On Darkened Wings; Burn My Coffin and Those of the Unlight.

I definitely mean ALL the other songs on Those Of The Unlight are Black Metal classics I cannot leave out songs like Darkness Breeds Immortality; A Sculpture Of The Night; Echoes From The Past and Stone Stands Its Silent Vigil. 

In 2013-14 Marduk played the full album from start to finish on some selective gigs as a 20th Anniversary of the albums release

 Although I absolutely think Wolves; On Darkened Wings; Burn My Coffin as some of their best songs it would be great if Darkness Breeds Immortality; A Sculpture Of The Night and Stone Stands Its Silent Vigil could be played more often live in their setlist.

1. Opus Nocturne (1994)
First print LP on Osmose Productions black version limited to 700 copies 

The pick for the number 1 was easy! Opus Nocturne the first Marduk album I ever bought. It has my favorite Marduk track of all times on it Sulphur Souls and my 2nd favorite The Sun Has Failed.

But not just that the production of Dan Swanö in the Unisound Studio is pure perfection. Around this time so many great records had been recorded there (I'm not going to mention any because you should know what masterpieces they are).

About Opus Nocturne I was very new into the Black Metal scene when I got this, I owned In The Nightside Eclipse by Emperor and The Somberlain by Dissection (metal of death yeah I know...).

Before I got these records my favorite bands at the time were Dismember, Morbid Angel, Kreator, Slayer, Entombed, Unleashed, Sepultura etc. So it took me awhile to understand this record just like the Emperor album did.

I immediately liked Materialized In Stone; Sulphur Souls; Opus Nocturne and The Sun Has Failed. After a couple of listens I liked From Subterranean Throne Profound: Autumnal Reaper; Deme Quaden Thyrane and Untrodden Paths (Wolves Part II).

Every song soon became a masterpiece in this "new" genre I was getting into and I would play it nonstop on repeat after understanding it completely.

Some probably think it's my nostalgia talking. Sure that's a factor. But considering Funeral Mist is my favorite band (yes even more then Marduk) my favorite albums by Marduk are still Those Of The Unlighand their grand opus being Opus Nocturne.

This record still stands the test of time it's still sounds fresh every time I listen to it. One of the best records in the whole Black Metal genre of all time. That is for sure!

Read more about the album here


Update January 7th 2019
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The new post with all 14 Marduk albums is finished and will post it someday soon (which can mean 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months). Since I made this list about 1.5 years ago there is some big changes in my opinion about some of the albums. Like my favorite Legion album! Also a new last place! Alright another spoiler the top-4 is left intact.

Anyway in the meanwhile here's some links to 2 of the 3 Marduk live albums. I do own the Live In Germania (1997) and the 4 so called live official bootlegs albums and 7" releases on LP. Haven't posted those on the blog you can see them all except Live In Germania on my Instagram.

Infernal Eternal (2000)
Warschau (2005)

Update December 6th 2018
---------------------------------
I've done an updated version of all 14 Marduk albums but not posted it yet. Haven't finished all the texts for all the records.

Will probably wait to sometime in 2019 until I post it. Here's some other rankings or top lists of bands and genres. Some are quite outdated I haven't updated every post with the newest album.

Immortal
Unleashed
Dødheimsgard
Abigor
Kreator best songs
My favorite Death Metal albums

Anyway will post the new Marduk list as soon as possible in MMXIX.

Update June 30th 2018
--------------------------------
So I have had this record for 6 days now and it's still way too early for me to have a real perspective on where Viktoria will be on this list eventually. You can read more about my thoughts on it in this Viktoria post that I made.

One day I will update the list don't know when that will be, but one thing I want to say is that I prefer Viktoria over the previous 2015 album Frontschwein. Does this mean that I will put Viktoria as my number 7? Not by default. It might be there? I don't know at the time, but when I made this list almost a year ago I also overrated Frontschwein. 

Also underrated some of them. Something that was discovered when I bought some I only had on CD before upgrading them to vinyls. It also became more evident when I made blog and Instagram posts over @herr_black_metal about them. It really gave me a whole new perspective on MANY albums, not my 2 least favorite or 4 best ones though.

It's not a matter of life and death... But I've noted how many page views this post gets so I want it to be as accurate as possible.


Update May 19th 2018
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I've updated some of the pictures and text. Not changed any of the album order. I still think that the list represents my opinion on Marduk's discography. But I still have the ancient problem to choose between Plague Angel or Rom 5:12 as their 3rd best album.

Also Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered should have been ranked higher. I think that Wormwood and Frontschwein probably should change places. Might redo the list once the new one Viktoria will be released in about 2 months on the 22nd of June. The 2 songs that have been released from it sounds great!