Album Review: Marduk - Memento Mori
Reviewed by Richard Oliver
In the world of black metal, Marduk have always been a reliable source of hate-filled and violent music. The four-piece have been around since 1990 and, despite their initial death metal origins on debut album “Dark Endless”, have been one of the most popular black metal bands to come out of Sweden. Despite controversies and accusations, Marduk show they aren’t shying away or going anywhere and album number fifteen “Memento Mori” is a mission statement from the band of unrelenting black metal fury.
Frontman Daniel Rostén has stated that “Memento Mori is, all at once, a bold leap forward, a calculated sidestep, and a wistful backward glance” and that is certainly true as some material sounds much in the same vein of the material that Marduk have been releasing for the previous ten years whilst other songs are a bit different for the band. For relentless hyper-aggressive black metal you get ‘Blood Of The Funeral’, ‘Coffin Carol’ and ‘Year Of The Maggot’ but alongside that you also get the mid-paced atmosphere of ‘Shovel Beats Sceptre’ which opens with a spoken word section and the experimental almost industrial nature of album closer ‘As We Are’.
Sole original band member Morgan Hakansson unleashes a furious barrage of tremolo riffs and blackened fury whilst long-term frontman Daniel Rostén puts in a fearsome performance spitting forth hatred and bile with throat shredding screams and snarls. Drummer Simon Schilling joined the band in 2019 but makes his recording debut on this album and impresses with a suitably bludgeoning display of drumming with some incredible blast-beats.
Although it doesn’t deviate too far from their uncompromising black metal sound, “Memento Mori” has moments of atmosphere, melody and even a cinematic feel at times and the ten songs that make up the album are all suitably varied in pace and feel and all flow wonderfully. “Memento Mori” is another fantastic release from Marduk and cements their status as Swedish black metal legends.