Time sure hasn’t sanded the edges off of MARDUK. Memento Mori has some of the fastest, most vicious metal these guys have ever played. There’s a hardcore contingent of “fans” that complain the band has lost its edge when they ditched their Sieg Heiling bass player. You sure can’t hear it here. ‘Blood Of The Funeral’, ‘Coffin Carol’ and ‘Red Tree of Blood’ are like barbed wire whips that rip the flesh from your bones.
Yet if you listen carefully, there is also strange melody and even a kind of brutal elegance that slips into some of these tunes. The title track has that in spades and it pops up elsewhere. A little bit of a twist to the riffing, a small flourish of lead guitar…there’s something new in the formula which somehow retains brutality.
There are also a couple of slower tunes…’Shovel Beats Scepter’ is one of those crawling tank-like tracks MARDUK is also known for. ‘As We Are’ ends the album with the most “different” sound…the frigid melody and more composed structure is obvious, with even some clean vocals in the mix. If that scares fans of Panzer Division Marduk off, then listen to ‘Year Of The Maggot’ and ‘Marching Bones’ and be reassured: this war machine can still kill. One of black metal’s most reliable weapons has drawn blood once more.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality