Marduk - Rom 5:12
Blooddawn Productions
Black Metal
10 songs (55:24)
Release year: 2007
Marduk, Blooddawn Productions
Reviewed by Dylan
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” And thusly, Marduk continues to wave the flag of anti-christian black metal by using a passage from one of the most holy books around for the title of their latest offering. Resembling the thrash giant, Exodus’ own Gary Holt, the only original member that has lasted throughout Marduk’s nearly twenty year history is the guitarist, Morgan Håkansson. The rest of the line-up is the same as it was on Plague Angel, though that is where the similarities between that album begin to get blurrier. No, the band is not as grim and raw as they were on Those of The Unlight, or (probably my favorite Marduk album) Opus Nocturne, but neither are they as overwhelmingly bombastic and brutal as they were on Panzer Division Marduk, or World Funeral. This album is a much more varied piece of work that borrows from various styles the band has employed in the past, and incorporates a few new elements to keep things fresh.

Opening track The Leveling Dust contains one of those new elements. Not only does the track begin without blastbeats, they are not to be found at any point during the song (Cold Mouth Prayer is a bit different, but I’ll get into that later). Instead, the song switches between grooving it’s head off (by black metal standards, anyway) and creating a bit of relief with dissonant riffs played at mid-tempo. This track is a really good opener and keeps your attention throughout it’s duration. Cold Mouth Prayer is a straightforward blaster, but very well done. Featuring guest vocals from Joakim Göthberg, who was responsible or the fearful shrieks on Opus Nocturne and Heaven Shall Burn…When We Are Gathered, the song boasts darkly melodic riffs in the intro and chorus, where vocalist “Arioch” gives a performance that sounds like the animal in his throat is angrily clawing its way out. Imago Mortis is the first of three epic crawlers (two of which are in excess of eight minutes). While this song and Womb of Parishableness are both more than solid slabs of black’n roll, Accuser, Opposer stands out among them. It’s main hypnotic riff drives the song forward, but the guest singing (you read that right) performed by Naihmass Nemtheanga make this song stand out from the others. This track is about doomish as a band like Marduk will get, and it works very well.

The album doesn’t really have a weak mid-section as much as it has a great opening one, and a really good closing one. 1651 could have been scrapped, for it is just Arioch growling some incomprehensibilities with synthed organs and brass accompanying him. Rom 5:12’s production job is certainly polished by black metal standards, but doesn’t have that pristine sheen that was found on Panzer Division Marduk, due to the fact that this album was recorded at Endarker studios, rather than Peter Tägtgren’s Abyss studios. One thing I always liked about Marduk was the great bass sound they managed to get on most of their albums. Now that B. War is gone, his instrument seems a little more subdued on this effort, but current bassist Devo still manages to make his presence felt when needed.

Marduk is one of those bands that you can just simply count on. Never really one to sway too far away from what they do best, they manage to branch out of the comfort zone they’ve stayed in for their past 3 albums and give fans a reason to give this one a chance. Those looking for a deep atmosphere will most likely end up being disappointed, but those looking for a well-done, well-produced, and well-written black metal album by veterans in the scene, you need look no further than what is my favorite black metal album of this year, so far.
Killing Songs :
The Leveling Dust, Cold Mouth Prayer, Imago Mortis, Accuser Opposer, Womb of Pershiableness
Dylan quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Marduk that we have reviewed:
Marduk - Viktoria reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Marduk - Frontschwein reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Marduk - Serpent Sermon reviewed by Tony and quoted 88 / 100
Marduk - Those of the Unlight reviewed by Tony and quoted 89 / 100
Marduk - Nightwing reviewed by Tony and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 15 reviews click here
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