Thursday, April 22, 2010

Marduk - Fuck Me Jesus (1991)

Fuck Me Jesus is the first demo release by the Swedish Black Metal band, Marduk. It was recorded in Gorysound Studio and released in June 1991. Not surprisingly, Dan Swanö had a hand in the production of this release. It would be the first of many collaborations between these two. What may be unknown to fans of the band's later output, the sound here is closer to the first Edge of Sanity album than to the rising Black Metal bands in western Scandinavia. At this point, the band had much more in common with the Swedish Death Metal scene, regarding their sound. There is an abundance of thicker, doom-filled riffs that really show no influence from a band such as Bathory. Much like Darkthrone, Marduk didn't alter their sound until their second release.

The demo begins with the intro, "Fuck Me Jesus". Despite being nothing more than a forty-second sample form "The Exorcist", it does well to set the tone, in its own way.

The first real song is "Departure From the Mortals". Immediately, the opening riff sounds like something from Nothing But Death Remains. Soon enough, the mid-paced riffs give way to faster and more vicious riffs that are more in line with the Black Metal spirit, regardless of the production job. There's some minimal keyboard use, adding a bit of a horror feeling, late in the song. As was typical in the Swedish Death Metal scene of the time, its utilization is done in a tasteful manner and accentuates the dark mood being created by the riffs.

"The Black" is next, starting out with fuzzy tremolo riffs and somewhat of a fast pace. This, quickly, transitions into a pure Death Metal riff, complete with drumming. After a few moments, it reverts to a more blasting, Black Metal, approach. The vocals are really the only thing here that is consistent with the Black Metal vibe, as the music goes back and forth. That being said, the material on this demo is a hundred times more interesting than the later albums that this band would be known for. Andreas Axelsson does a good job with the vocals, conveying a frenzied feeling and earning his place as my second-favourite of the Marduk vocalists (just behind Joakim "Af Gravf" Göthberg).

The final full song is "Within the Abyss". It opens with another mid-paced and powerful riff, yet takes little time before things speed up. The sound has a little more crunch to it than on the version found on Dark Endless, which can be said of all the songs. Also, like the rest, the pace is dynamic and keeps the listener interested, doing a good job of creating a dark atmosphere. After all, that is the point. Somewhere along the way, they forgot how to write interesting music and became nothing more than a parody of themselves.

The demo ends with a decent little outro, titled "Shut Up and Suffer". The name doesn't exactly reek of intelligence, but track does its job and brings things to an end.

All in all, Fuck Me Jesus isn't an essential release, as the songs here are not far removed from the versions that would appear on their first full-length; however, it's an interesting listen for fans of the band's early work. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone that hasn't heard the potential that this band possessed, in its early years.