Marduk - _Iron Dawn_
(Regain Records, 2011)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (6.5 out of 10)
Black metal's waves are often discussed when dealing with the style's more prominent milestones. We are all aware of the Norwegian second wave as well as a hazy, primordial beginning in England and across the greater part of Europe. While the third wave has yet to be confirmed or denied, there still exist segments between the waves. The undertow or rip current of back metal is merely my desire to imagine the style in terms of oceanic metaphors. There are dozens of black metal bands between the glamorous waves which contributed to the style or kept playing without a hint of greater cultural importance. Marduk is a Swedish black metal band whose history reaches far back to the early '90s. Despite numerous line-up changes, the band has a steady stream of albums which time and again attempt to carpet bomb the listener with pure, unadulterated black metal.

The_ Iron Dawn_ EP is a well publicized release to commemorate Marduk's North American tour with Aura Noir, Black Anvil and Panzerfaust. The band's press release stated the _Iron Dawn_ EP to differ conceptually from the yet to be announced 12th album. Visually, the EP greets the listener with memories of the band's most famous album, 2004's war torn _Panzer Division Marduk_. These similarities continue as Marduk play their frenzied style of black metal over the sound of warfare and complete destruction. The _Iron Dawn_ EP may be just a quick attempt to bridge the silence between releases, as well as a ploy to generate interest using imagery from past albums. Regardless, it is impressive, exhilarating, and offers a perfect time to pay tribute to a black metal veteran.

Marduk works best with themes. Even _Panzer Division Marduk_'s military inspired black metal was only one theme to fit in a catalog of concepts. War, death, blood and Satanism have all made premiere themes on each previous record. For the past few years, Marduk has been floating around in a tank of vague religious themes. The _Iron Dawn_ EP breaks these theistic lyrics with a return to the cities buried under rubble. "Warschau 2: Headhunter Halfmoon" leads the charge with 13 minutes of blistering insanity following en tow. The crawling closer "Prochorovka: Blood and Sunflowers" slows down the EP but is nowhere near the definition of melodic. _Iron Dawn_ is a brief vignette into Marduk's largest strength: recreating chaos and a musical interpretation of shit hitting fans.

_Iron Dawn_ feels like a one-off experiment to delve into the band's collective past. I do not think anyone would be upset if Marduk returned to the theaters of war which hallmarked their past. Fans still argue the merits of new singer Mortuus as compared to past member Legion, who left in 2004. It is surprising after _Iron Dawn_ and at least two decent albums, some still bicker over old singers near obscure metal bands. Regardless, _Iron Dawn_ is worth anyone's time who has interest in Swedish black metal or the horrors of war.


(article published 26/6/2011)

11/4/2009 J Smit Marduk: Unholy Blasphemies
1/31/2008 J Smit Marduk: Echoes of Decimation
6/10/2007 J Smit Marduk: Hosannas From the Basement of Hell
11/29/2004 J Smit Marduk: The Plague Rages On
3/14/1999 D Rocher Marduk: Far Beyond the Grace of God
7/1/2012 J Carbon 7.5 Marduk - Serpent Sermon
10/24/2009 J Ulrey 8.5 Marduk - Wormwood
5/1/2007 J Smit 9.5 Marduk - Rom 5:12
11/29/2004 J Smit 8.5 Marduk - Plague Angel
5/13/2001 M Noll 8 Marduk - La Grande Danse Macabre
8/12/1999 D Rocher 9 Marduk - Panzer Division Marduk
4/13/1998 S Hoeltzel 7.5 Marduk - Nightwing
8/12/1997 S Hoeltzel 8 Marduk - Live in Germania
10/11/1996 S Hoeltzel 8 Marduk - Glorification
10/11/1996 S Hoeltzel 9 Marduk - Heaven Shall Burn When We Are Gathered
12/2/2007 J Smit Marduk / Vreid A Doomsday Celebration
5/13/2001 M Noll Marduk / Mortician / Vader / God Dethroned / Amon Amarth / Mystic Circle / Sinister / ...And Oceans / Bal Sagoth Baptized by Fire and Beer
8/12/2000 M Noll Deicide / Immortal / Cannibal Corpse / Marduk / Vader / Dark Funeral / Hate Eternal / Vomitory There's No Mercy in Satan's Oven
1/15/2000 P Azevedo Marduk / Angelcorpse / Enthroned Night of the Living Corpses
1/15/2000 M Noll Cannibal Corpse / Marduk / Angelcorpse / Aeternus / Defleshed Two Corpses, One God and No Flesh
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