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MARDUK - La Grande Danse Macabre (12" LP)

Sweden | Black
Price Range:   $20.99 - $23.99
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LP re-issue crafted in close cooperation with the band, boasts remastered sound by bassist Devo Andersson, accompanied by detailed liner notes, unpublished photos, and revamped artwork by Death Wolf vocalist Maelstrom. 400x black, 298x bloodred with black marble effect 12" (180g) in a microtenne innerbag, printed innersleeve, full-color on 220g, jacket full-color with black flood inside on 350g, all assembled in a PVC overbag.

Following the intense assault of "Panzer Division Marduk," the prominent Swedish black metal force naturally embarked on an evolution of their compositional approach with the subsequent album, "La Grande Danse Macabre." This release showcased a different facet of the band, signaling a significant mutation in their sound. While this shift may not have aligned with certain expectations, it underscored Marduk's willingness to explore new musical territories.

Despite being perceived as weaker compared to its predecessor, "La Grande Danse Macabre" marked the beginning of a challenging period for fans who cherished the band's relentless high-velocity tracks. Departing from their signature high speed, the album introduced a focus on less rapid tunes, revealing a willingness to experiment with diverse musical elements.

However, the title track emerged as a beacon, showcasing the band's new vision with unswerving riffing capable of grinding citadel walls. This shift created an atmosphere of horror and intensified the sense of density, highlighting Marduk's prowess in crafting compelling slow tunes and establishing itself as a standout flagship for the album.

The album further surprised listeners by deviating from conventional black metal patterns and incorporating doom influences, a creative choice that injected fresh ideas into Marduk's repertoire. Morgan's riffs demonstrated creativity and diversity, seamlessly blending brutal edges with slower, mid-paced textures. Percussion contributions complemented the overall sound exceptionally well, showcasing the band's evolved musicality.

Noteworthy tracks like "Azrael" reflected a departure from previous mistakes, illustrating the band's intent to experiment and showcase their evolving musical identity. Marduk successfully balanced newer materials with elements from their past, offering a blend of intelligence, improved performances, and substantial musical depth.

As "La Grande Danse Macabre" may not stand out prominently in Marduk's discography, it remains far from a black sheep. The album, while lacking tracks that might feature in a classic Marduk mixtape, upholds the band's integrity. The robust, powerful, and clear production contributes to the overall strength of the album. In retrospect, while not a groundbreaking release, it holds a crucial place in Marduk's evolutionary journey, reflecting their openness to musical exploration and experimentation.

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Sweden | Black
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