I was all on board with this until I watched the video. Upon seeing it, all I could do was laugh at the silly theatrics. But, I am not doing a review of the video so, I will stick to the album at hand... but really, watch the video, the sheer absurdity of it will definitely give you a few yuks.
Ahem... Serpent Sermon...
Marduk continues their blazing trail of black metal through Serpent Sermon. Lars B. drum-shreds through the whole album and you have to wonder why his arms don't fall the fuck off. Evil's guitar is abrasive and at times, a bit haunting. There's some melody here that shines through in parts but never enough to make it sound like, say, Catamenia. It's to their credit that they walk up to that line in parts but don't cross it. Devo's bass sits just right between the guitar and drums, and Mortuus' vocals provide just the right amount of grim growling to solidify Serpent Sermon as one of the better black metal releases this year. I can overlook the similarity in the vocals between Mortuus and, say, Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir and Satyr from Satyricon, but it's black metal, and this style of vocal is par for the course.
The album is well produced, which should piss off a few KVLTists, but then again, has Marduk been KVLT lately? I don't know, nor do I care. The music here is what matters, and outside of it being a little repetitive at points, I am liking this. Underneath the pageantry and corpse paint, there is a band here who knows how to write a decent song, even if they make your ears work a bit to appreciate it. Into Second Death is probably my favorite track on Serpent Sermon. While they are not reinventing themselves or anything within the genre, Marduk continues to release consistently good albums.