For Marduk's 1996 release (and fourth overall), Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered, the band enlisted the help of Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy/Pain) at the mixing desk in place of Dan Swano, and the results are less organic and definitely clearer and harsher, as the band just kept getting more and more extreme. At this time the band had added a new singer named Legion, whose evil and tortured black metal screams & growls just added to the intensity level that this band already possessed. Guitarist Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson is in fine form throughout this release, as his guitar playing just seemed to improve from album to album, and coupled with the clever bass style of B. War (a very underrated player) and the maniacal blast beats from drummer Fredrik Andersson, make for a lethal presentation.
It's one frenzied black metal juggernaut after another here, with Marduk classics like "Beyond the Grace of God", "Glorification of the Black God", and "Black Tormentor of Satan" just potent examples of blasphemous & Satanic black metal, unrelenting in their execution and just flat out brutal. Despite the extreme nature of the music of Marduk, there's always a sense of melody floating underneath, thanks to the crafty guitar & bass riffs of Morgan and B. War. While a few of the songs here seem to rampage on aimlessly, like "Internal Eternal" and "Darkness It Shall Be" (a problem this band, as well as Dark Funeral, has on occasion), the lack of variety at times is made up by the sheer power and aggression they exude. The real gem here is the slow and icy black metal beast called "Dracul Va Domni Din Nou in Trasnilvania", certainly a departure on this particular album, as the band slows down the tempo and goes for the juggular with some crushing riffs and Legion's psychotic and evil growls.
As on the other Regain Records reissues, expect full lyrics, photos (gotta love the corpse paint guys!) and some bonus rehearsal tracks. While Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered might not be the out and out classic that the previous album Opus Nocturne is, this is still a solid black metal release, and easily one of the best in the early Marduk discography.
1. Summon the Darkness
2. Beyond the Grace of God
3. Infernal Eternal
4. Glorification of the Black God
5. Darkness It Shall Be
6. Black Tormentor of Satan
7. Dracul Va Domni Din Nou in Trasnilvania
9. Beyond the Grace of God -bonus rehearsal track
10. Glorification -bonus rehearsal track
11. Black Tormentor/Shadow of Our Infernal King-bonus rehearsal track
12. Infernal Eternal/Towards the Land of the Damned -bonus rehearsal track