If you were pleased with last year’s three song EP, Iron Dawn, then Serpent Sermon will put a huge smile on your face.
MARDUK’s twelfth record, Serpent Sermon, is indisputable evidence that the snarling upper lip of the band is as ferocious as ever. While it’s unmistakably MARDUK, these black metal veterans continue to hone their sound with excellent results. The strength of Serpent Sermon is really in the details. Great transitions within songs, big riffs, effective uses of tempo changes, touches of dissonance, tension building, and great pacing throughout. The best example is centerpiece, “M.A.M.M.O.N.” The album stays compelling throughout with zero lapses.
What also contributes to the quality of Serpent Sermon is the fact that all four members hold their own. MARDUK has got one of the best rhythm sections in extreme metal. Unlike 99% of metal bassists, Magnus “Devo” Andersson’s basslines are distinct, comes through in the mix, and add a great counterpoint to Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson’s guitar playing. Vocalist Mortuus is simply one of the best vocalists out there. His charisma and mastery of bringing the darkness ranks as one of metal’s best. Last but not least, blastmaster Lars Broddesson has got the perfect chops that make drumming come alive.
Serpent Sermon is a must for all devotees of extreme metal. Easily one of 2012’s best albums. Hail! (Blooddawn Productions/Century Media Records)