Marduk - Serpent Sermon
Century Media
Black Metal
10 songs (46:22)
Release year: 2012
Marduk, Century Media
Reviewed by Tony
Major event

Sweet! It has been weeks since I have been on MR, but it feels great to be back with the new review of Serpent Sermon by one of my favorite bands. This is Marduk’s follow up to their last full length in 2009’s Wormwood. Wormwood was a fine album, but the band are looking to expand upon their loaded Death Metal approach and tortured vocals with a more diverse and impressive performance. The Mortuus era has been exciting yet not as perfect as some of their earlier classics of the 1990s.

Upon first impression to the title track, Serpent Sermon itself, I hear a lot of the same tactics as what made Marduk special. For me, what made songs like Slay the Nazarene, Wolves, and With Satan and Victorious Weapons memorable was their recognizable intros and their brutally enunciated and ordered lyrics. The riffs to me for a long time just a constant factory of cataclysm while the drums were well… blast beats. Here, after listening to get a taste of the opener before preparing dinner, the one part of the solitary listen that stuck with me was the main riff. To me, the riff flowed like a river of oil at the end of a match. It just picked up and grew more and more powerful amongst the same notes as Mortuus legendary vocals picked up steam and passion. There is a bit more double bass in some portions than in Wormwood. and the intensity picks up from the very dawn of the album instead of waiting mere seconds. Seconds for Marduk is an opportunity to fit in another ten thousand notes, and here the band uses the first three tracks to lay down as much pain as possible.

Souls for Belial has a spooky introduction with some mildly overdriven guitars and another round of synthesized vocals by Mortuus. Once again the band apply their similar virulent vocals with lyrics that reek of fire and brimstone. Marduk have produced a true quality album here. Yes, most is still classic Marduk, a monster overdose of blast beats. However, what makes the band what they are is just that. Strangely, in some songs there are small tracts of melody and emotion. The intro in Temple of Decay is a whole lot deeper and far more cryptic than their standard ‘guitar intro-drum fill-scream-blasts’ formulae.

The conclusion to the album is essentially a similarly violent yet more expansive version of Plague Angel or Wormwood. There is nothing that Marduk has done that truly bores me. Marduk have taken their classic sound that they are so well-known for (Black Metal with a Death Metal approach) and improved their sound quality, production, tightened their screws on the binds of their music, and produced an album that will endure for years to come as one of the best albums since the Golden Age and the finest with Mortuus. Serpent Sermon rivals World Funeral as the definitive Marduk album from the 21st Century on.

Killing Songs :
Serpent Sermon, Souls for Belial, Temple of Decay, World of Blades
Tony quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Marduk that we have reviewed:
Marduk - Frontschwein reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Marduk - Those of the Unlight reviewed by Tony and quoted 89 / 100
Marduk - Nightwing reviewed by Tony and quoted CLASSIC
Marduk - Iron Dawn EP reviewed by Tony and quoted no quote
Marduk - Opus Nocturne reviewed by Tony and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 14 reviews click here
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