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MARDUK - Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered (12" Gatefold LP)

Sweden | Black
Price Range:   $19.00 - $23.99
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Repressed LP: 500 Grimace Purple w/ black marble effect (select "magenta" above), 500 Ultra Clear w/ magenta cloudy effect (select "clear/violet" option above), 180g vinyl, black poly-lined inner bag, full-color gatefold, on 350g carton w/ gloss lamination, assembled in PVC overbag.

In their 1996 release, "Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered," Marduk embarked on a significant evolution, notably transitioning to hyper speed and bidding farewell to the slow elements present in previous releases. With the departure of Joakim and the introduction of Legion as the new vocalist, the album witnessed a transformation in its sonic landscape.

Morgan's assertion that Marduk's purpose was to create the most violent and fast metal resonates throughout the album. The relentless speed showcases the band's prowess in playing their instruments, with fast and varied riffs complemented by the pounding drums. Legion, while maintaining a consistent scream pitch, proves to be a fitting vocalist for the band.

The album opens strongly with "Beyond the Grace of God," introducing the new style infused into Marduk's sound. The track exemplifies a delicate balance between brutality and melody, with Morgan adding subtle variations and tones to repeating riffs. "Infernal Eternal" stands out as a masterpiece, blending speed with melodic touches, while "Glorification (of the Black Gods)" incorporates classical elements into a splendid track.

However, as the album progresses, it loses some of its initial allure. Tracks like "Darkness It Shall Be" lack the melodic formula, leading to a sense of staleness. The limitations of Legion as a vocalist become more apparent in the latter part of the album. Despite being only 35 minutes long, it feels somewhat repetitive, with missed opportunities to maintain the initial momentum.

"Heaven Shall Burn... When We Are Gathered" could have been a splendid album, but its inconsistency in maintaining the melody across all tracks and Legion's vocal limitations prevent it from reaching its full potential. Nevertheless, it remains one of Marduk's standout efforts in their full-length discography, making it a suitable starting point for those unfamiliar with the band.

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