Marduk - _Plague Angel_
(Regain Records, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (
So this is it: Marduk, fourteen years and nine albums into a career that in this writer's opinion has teetered between mediocre and overrated. Yet there's something different about _Plague Angel_, a sense that the band has at long last managed to reach that previously unattainable level where they are able to consolidate their greatest assets and do away with that which held them back. Hard as it may be to believe, boys and girls, _Plague Angel_ is the sound of Marduk growing up, even though on first impression it isn't exactly a drastic stylistic departure from the breakneck blasting of _World Funeral_ or _Panzer Division Marduk_. Hell, there's enough misanthropic venom coursing through "The Hangman of Prague" and "Throne of Rats" to power small cities. Likewise, the introduction of the infinitely superior Mortuus to the vocalist's podium proves to be a boon for the band in every respect, and while it's highly debatable whether or not Marduk are -- as their press release claims -- the only true black metal band around, _Plague Angel_ is definitely one of the best releases of its kind this year so far.
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