|4 (1 votes):|
It’s no mystery that Morgan Hakansson, the general of the Swedish panzer battalion Marduk is a huge Samhain/Danzig fan. For those who are not buying it, might want to check the skull tattoo on his right arm. He was so much of a fan that he decided to make his own version on the horror punk/metal genre with the black metal flavor which was Devils Whorehouse back in 2000.
This side project steadily evolved with its sound identity and eventual line-up changes, so much that the bands name has shed its skin into Death Wolf completing its metamorphism.
Now, since Danzig and Marduk are my favorite two bands, I should have Death Wolf logo engraved on my damn skull. That did not happen and for a good reason. The previous three albums, as good as they were, especially the self-titled from 2011, always felt that they were a few polishing touches away from a fantastic record and more importantly; their own sound and identity.
Luckily, by their fourth album IV: Come the Dark they finally did. It was five years since their last album III: Östergötland and they really took their time in the best way. The album is a hellish cocktail of mature fury and atmosphere.
It has speed in the songs like He Who Hates and Edge of the Wood but the real meat of the record are in the slow, pounding emotion-heavy hymns like Funeral Pyre and Executioners Song which are layered by Valentin Mellström outstanding vocal delivery.
This is something that Danzig always had; very gloomy and dark songs but with such catchy patterns that hooks you by the spine for the ride. Morgan and the wolfpack had finally achieved that with adding their own Östergothian dark flavor.
Production is as well, their best and most polished. It’s not that different from the rest of the past albums, but like the songwriting the quality has gone up quite a bit. Similar to the last Marduk albums, guitars and bass are in a symbiosis with Makko’s granite heavy guitars and Morgan’s thundering bass just hitting in the background and taking over the song when the need arises.
Speaking of songwriting, I can really say that there are any filler or any kind of so-so tracks that are strategic Segway into the hit song. Almost any song of the record can work as a single. Especially songs like The Sword, Serpents Hall and Into the Woods which are most impressive cuts of the record with their atmosphere and surprising diversity.
The only real complain I can give this album it’s the duration of the songs; you just got hooked on the chorus and after 2 minutes the next song already starts. There are so many fantastic parts in the album that can be savored and repeated a dozen times and still would not seem dull. It’s really that catchy.
The dire wolfs of Östergötland had unleashed their best and most mature work so far.
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