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Marduk: La Grande Danse Macabre (remaster)

Marduk's seventh release La Grande Danse Macabre, somewhat divided their fan base when it was first unveiled back in 2001. Featuring a bunch of songs that slowed things down quite a bit, longtime followers of this Swedish black metal contingent cried out in anger that the band's trademark blast beat frenzy was toned down quite a bit. In all honesty, La Grande Danse Macabre is a wonderful change of pace from the non-stop brutality of albums like Panzer Division Marduk or Heaven Shall Burn…When We Are Gathered, both classic albums no doubt, but a slight respite was needed. Here, you get monstrously heavy, epic pieces like "Bonds of Unholy Matrimony", the doom laden "Pompa Funebris 1660 ", and the deliciously evil title track, each one with heaping amounts of heavy riffs and plenty of atmosphere, and while there are some blast beats here and there, these songs rely more on heaviness and less on speed. Legion's vocals are perhaps the best he had ever recorded with the band on this release, and while it's arguable who has a more suitable voice for Marduk, he or Mortuus, there's no denying that Legion simply kills on this one with plenty of venom and menace. For those wondering if Marduk forgot how to rage on this album, forget it, as there's more than a fare share of manic and speedy black metal here, like the rabid "Death Sex Ejaculation", the blasphemous "Jesus Christ...Sodomized", "Obedience Unto Death",and the tumultuous "Azrael". Each one features all the goods that Marduk normally bring to the table; evil vocals, raging tremelo picked guitar riffs, and poundling blast beats.

The 2008 Special Edition Remaster comes with a bonus track, the all-too quick "Samhain", plus a live DVD of a 2001 performance in Germany. While the 45 set was recorded obviously on a camcorder, the sound is pretty decent and the camera managed to stay focused and fairly still. Legion is at his best here, awash in fake blood and interacting greatly with the crowd, who are flailing about obviously enjoying themselves immensely.

So, if some of the other Marduk albums are too quick to turn your brain to mush with their relentless attack, give La Grande Danse Macabre a try to add some variety to your black metal world. The inclusion of the DVD on this remaster is just the icing on the cake.

Track Listing
1. Ars Moriendi
2. Azrael
3. Pompa Funebris 1660
4. Obedience Unto Death
5. Bonds of Unholy Matrimony
6. Grande Danse Macabre
7. Death Sex Ejaculation
8. Funeral Bitch
9. Summer End
10. Jesus Christ...Sodomized

Added: February 4th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Marduk Website
Hits: 2363
Language: english

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