Marduk - Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered

Production: Clear and metallic, almost overly digital sounding in its clarity but lack of texture and depth. However, the important elements are preserved, with drums a respectable distance into the background and vocals overamped to ludicrous proportions

Review: One of the simplest black metal bands, Marduk have broken the musical style into a patterned language they usefully exploit for making albums and songs of reasonable consistency. However this strength is I think Marduk's primary weakness: their music is product, and has none of the epic qualities of black metal.

Furthermore, its structures are conventional and its iconism absolute, leading one to wonder which side of the fence Marduk is on. But if you think you would enjoy simple commercial death metal played in high-speed melodic intensity by an enterprising black metal band, your mood is right to pursue this beast. (On the cover, there are gathered freaks with weapons and shields bearing the Marduk logo. Much is made of the angry title which resembles the righteous anger of Pantera and the patented angst of Nirvana.)

Fast melodic guitars race over blasting drums and then cut into sawing power chords, thrashing against their own rhythm with simple resistance and then taking off into long runs of guitar lines stretched through percussive drumming designed to enhance the BPM of the recording. Their patterns are simple and often deliberately redundant, but even from this Marduk wrench appropriations of beauty in their simple variations and obvious, leading structures. The essential concept begins in simplicity yet aesthetic is complex enough to force changes into the otherwise consistent progression of blasting beats and three-chord fast strumming riffs.


1. Summon the Darkness (:21)
2. Beyond the Grace of God (5:17)
3. Infernal Eternal (4:41)
4. Glorification of the Black God (4:52)
5. Darkness it Shall Be (4:40)
6. The Black Tormentor of Satan (4:15)
7. Dracul va Domni Din Nou in Transilvania (5:39)
8. Legion (5:55)

Length: 35:42

Marduk - Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered: Black Metal 1996 Marduk

Copyright © 1996 Osmose

These patterns have the rebound tenseness of hardcore music but the bounciness of more popular styles of punk, all under the minimal minor-key melodies of any halfway proficient black metal band. The distinction comes in the fast and synchronized by bland high-speed drumming, and the yapping growl of the vocals, a taunting stance of aggression. While this recording delivers all of the speed and precision desired in a metal band - strangely, death metal characteristics - it also expresses an aura of darkness in the ripping speed of the iteration of chords in the style of classic black metal mercurial temperment.

What lead guitar augment the rhythm are few, as most of this music is straight-ahead blasting material, although later songs follow a trudge beat and rough harmonic abstract progressions in order to ensure boring filler material to emphasize the pounding, flaring, screeching black metal compositions of the early parts of the album. This is black metal but like other bands of a newer ilk it resembles a patented styling of black metal made to approximate an audience mean on most issues of aesthetic. For this reason, there is no evil or mystical aura to the band or their work of mostly disjointed concept, and many find their music more predictable than the sometimes more random or more conceived older black metal bands.