Marduk – Serpent Sermon

When it comes down to delivering full-on ferocious black metal few do it better than Marduk. These Swedes are the one of mainstays within their specific fields and many of their albums are considered essential. “Serpent Sermon” is the name of Marduk’s latest sonic assault, so let’s see whether Steinmeyer and Co are still able to spring a surprise or two...
To my great surprise “Serpent Sermon” opens with relatively slow song in the form of the title track. Marduk’s trademark craftsmanship is immediately recognisable.
Well-constructed madness goes hand-in-hand with a sense of evil and darkness only very few can master. “Messianic Pestilence”, “Souls For Belial” and “Hail Mary (Piss-soaked Genuflexion)” are more traditional high-speed Marduk scorchers with all the blastbeats and anti-religious themes to die for. Vocalist Mortuus is fine and he really adds a lot of venom to his satanic musings.
Personally I could care less about the typical Marduk anti religious and satanic rhetoric, I’m in there for the music. I have to admit that Steinmeyer and Co really firing on all cylinders on “Serpent Sermon”. The most interesting tracks for me are “Damnation’s Gold” and “World Of Blades”. On these compositions the band shows a more dramatic and epic side of themselves. It’s the synergy between those longer tracks and the high-octane scorchers that give this album its charm.
“Serpent Sermon” is blessed/cursed with a fine production. It’s clear enough to make all the instruments clearly audible, but it’s also dirty enough to instill that typically cold black metal feel.
Marduk have delivered a high class black metal album with “Serpent Sermon”. Fans who are hoping for another “Panzerdivison Marduk” will again be disappointed. This album is as well-balanced and solid as they come. Excellent. (8.5/10) 

Raymond Westland 

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