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Requiem

Mortuus (Marduk) Rules the Throne

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When Mortuus joined Marduk after Legion left the band 15 years ago, I was skeptical.

I really loved Legion's vocals, and when some dude called Mortuus joined the fold, I wasn't very impressed with what I saw as his run-of-the-mill vocals and standard look. There was also a guy called Mortiis in the scene. Who was this new imposter? 

Yes, he was a great showman live, and that's to his credit. He owned the stage. But I just didn't find 'Plague Angel' through to 'Serpent Sermon' all that compelling. In fact, I found them pretty boring, despite interesting moments. I liked those albums, and I bought them, but I didn't love them. I just thought something was missing. His voice was cool, but I didn't feel anything listening to it. The songs were generic satanic stock material, and it just didn't move me. He growled and screamed. Fine. Whatever. 

Then Frontschwein came out in 2015. 

At first I was intrigued by the WWII vibe. It reminded my of Panzer Division Marduk. But it took me ages to buy the album because I was so jaded. But once I heard the album, I knew that two things were plainly obvious. 

1. Morgan has written riffs that he has never come close to before. The slow songs are so fucking weighty and gut-crunching. There are almost melodic death metal epic moments. Every single riff moves me. 

2. Mortuus unleashed the true essence of the beast in man through his voice. Or should I say, voices. 

Mortuus' performance on Frontschwein is not just one of black metal's best, it's one of metal's best. He keeps his mid-range growl-scream, but he has added a range that simply wasn't heard before. In '503' he shouts the names of towns through which the Panzers are rolling. In 'Nebelwerfer' he vomits his soul in warfare adoration. In 'Thousand-Fold Death' he spits out lyrics like a machine gun. In several songs he drops the last word of the verse into a spoken neck-break utterance. I've been listening to black metal for 25 years and I've never heard this before. He'll growl a line, then at the end just drop the last word down with a choke. It's extraordinary. 

I'm dedicating this post to Mortuus and his work in Frontscwein, and the essence of creativity in vocals. Here's a genre where it has all been done before, but Mortuus has shown that he can go further. 

Mortuus: The greatest vocalist in modern black metal. 

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I think you know how I feel about Legion. I've heard him be a good vocalist, but that's not how I feel about his performances with Marduk. He probably delivered for them exactly what they wanted, as his tedious screeching matched the tedious blasting of the albums from his era. I can listen to Panzer Division once in a while, but the only other album I have from that time is Heaven Shall Burn, and I barely made it through that the last time I put it on.

As far as Mortuus goes, he's easily their best vocalist. Musically, I still prefer the Af Grav albums, but Mortuus did a great deal to help revitalize their sound after the Legion era, and the vocals are now a focal point for the band where they really weren't before. I still haven't heard Frontschwein, so calling him the "greatest vocalist in modern black metal" is quite the stretch for me from my experience, but he is damn good, especially live. I'm interested to hear these different techniques you're talking about. If they're what I'm thinking, he's not the only one doing this sort of thing, but it is damn cool.

Sent from my HTCD160LVW using Tapatalk

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On 4/7/2018 at 1:14 AM, BlutAusNerd said:

I think you know how I feel about Legion. I've heard him be a good vocalist, but that's not how I feel about his performances with Marduk. He probably delivered for them exactly what they wanted, as his tedious screeching matched the tedious blasting of the albums from his era. I can listen to Panzer Division once in a while, but the only other album I have from that time is Heaven Shall Burn, and I barely made it through that the last time I put it on.

As far as Mortuus goes, he's easily their best vocalist. Musically, I still prefer the Af Grav albums, but Mortuus did a great deal to help revitalize their sound after the Legion era, and the vocals are now a focal point for the band where they really weren't before. I still haven't heard Frontschwein, so calling him the "greatest vocalist in modern black metal" is quite the stretch for me from my experience, but he is damn good, especially live. I'm interested to hear these different techniques you're talking about. If they're what I'm thinking, he's not the only one doing this sort of thing, but it is damn cool.

Sent from my HTCD160LVW using Tapatalk
 

Do yourself a favour and listen to the album. I've never heard a singer drop those last syllables like that, but it's possible someone somewhere has done it. It's funny actually, because True Belief mentioned it the other day out of the blue, and I said "Yes!!!" then I bought him a beer. 

Legion's work on Panzer and World Funeral are two albums that I love his vocals on. Heaven Shall Burn definitely less so, but I also like that album a lot less overall. 

I also dragged Wormwood out the other day and played it through and I really enjoyed it. It's much more varied than I remember it. I'm sort of having a real Marduk surge at the moment, orchestrated by the almighty Frontschwein. 

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Do yourself a favour and listen to the album. I've never heard a singer drop those last syllables like that, but it's possible someone somewhere has done it. It's funny actually, because True Belief mentioned it the other day out of the blue, and I said "Yes!!!" then I bought him a beer. 
Legion's work on Panzer and World Funeral are two albums that I love his vocals on. Heaven Shall Burn definitely less so, but I also like that album a lot less overall. 
I also dragged Wormwood out the other day and played it through and I really enjoyed it. It's much more varied than I remember it. I'm sort of having a real Marduk surge at the moment, orchestrated by the almighty Frontschwein. 
Right on. Next time I'm in the mood for that sort of thing, I'll give it a go.

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On 4/12/2018 at 7:11 PM, Requiem said:

Do yourself a favour and listen to the album. I've never heard a singer drop those last syllables like that, but it's possible someone somewhere has done it. It's funny actually, because True Belief mentioned it the other day out of the blue, and I said "Yes!!!" then I bought him a beer. 

Legion's work on Panzer and World Funeral are two albums that I love his vocals on. Heaven Shall Burn definitely less so, but I also like that album a lot less overall. 

I also dragged Wormwood out the other day and played it through and I really enjoyed it. It's much more varied than I remember it. I'm sort of having a real Marduk surge at the moment, orchestrated by the almighty Frontschwein. 

"Wormwood" is one of my favorite Marduk albums.  It has some great riffs.

I have been listening to songs from "Frontschwein" for the first time recently, and I must agree that the album represents some of their best work.

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