Quickie: Marduk – Heaven Shall Burn When We Are Gathered
So while this album has a fellow named “Legion” shrieking over it and the BPM is overall much faster than it was on Opus Nocturne (mainly by having fewer slow songs and slow sections), I’m going to postulate that the greatest changes from the previous album to this one were induced by a nice producer fellow named Peter Tägtgren. He’s played with Hypocrisy, a death metal band that started out violent and satanic, and then transitioned to a more melodic style once Masse Bromberg (who would take the name Magus Caligula in Dark Funeral) left to pursue his own sort of things. But more important is his very aggressive, “modern” production sound, which have, amongst other places, appeared on Amon Amarth, Immortal, Dark Funeral, Overkill’s latest album Ironbound, but most importantly for our sakes, on every one of Marduk’s Legion-fronted albums.
This lends the album a very distinct, violent sound. Everything is reasonably audible, even the bass, even though it mostly follows the guitars. The drums blastbeating away, the guitars are playing cool melodic riffs, there’s a Mussorgsky ripoff (Night on A Bald Mountain becomes Glorification to the Black God), and so forth. But this definitely comes into contrast with the previous album. Opus Nocturne contained many of the same songwriting elements, but the dark, murky production, the substantially different vocals of Joakim Af Gravf, the greater restraint of speed gave an entirely different, more occultish sound than this one, which revels in its own violence.
The rest of the Legion-fronted albums continue this “hyperblast” trend, but if you want to see where it began, this album should pique your interest. And if you want to listen to Marduk, but WITHOUT the hyperblast, there’s always “Opus Nocturne” or other past albums.