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Century Media picked up Marduk to issue the group’s upcoming album Serpent Sermon. I did put in for an exclusive stream of this one, but clearly I wasn’t going to get it. No big deal, I know I’m not as big as many other sites out there, and I’m in this to help spread the word of Metal, not have my name slapped on the next big release in any way possible. So, when the notification that a stream for the song “Souls for Belial” went live, the fan in me couldn’t resist. I clicked the link and headed over to DecibelMagazine.com to check it out since promos have not yet been issued for the press. Or, if they have, then clearly not to me yet.

The track starts off with a creepy, distant, and clearly distorted rhaspy narrative for a good thirty seconds before hammering into the modern blast-beat fueled Black Metal that the group has churned out lately. Looking at the Soundcloud steam widget, it was clear that there were very few moments that the music would allow the listener to breathe for much of the time. The intensity and anger is captured with a top notch production quality that feels sleek, yet somehow still dirty and sinister. The vocal distortions helped with that atmosphere, truly making this a chaotic offering for most of the time. Around the two and a half minute mark, it does slow down to push a far more dismal vibe that would sound excellent with a raw production, but is still captured nicely here. It builds back up into the intense cacaphony that picked up earlier, and closes the song out with a blistering climax that feels a bit on the epic side thanks to some subtle guitar work, as well as the restrained drumming, focusing largely on the bass kicks. It was as though the song would explode with venom-like fire once more, but, sadly, it doesn’t. Why? Does it lead into the next song? Hopefully I will find out soon…

While I’ve been let down a lot lately by blast-beat fueled Black Metal, I have to say that “Slaves for Belial” actually did make me really antsy for what’s to come. I’m honestly loving this track, and anxiously awaiting the promotional copy to hit my inbox. This is gearing up to be another Marduk purchase for me, though unlike the last, it will definitely be a day one acquisitionWhile there are no announced plans for this song to be digitally released outside of purchasing the album on-line in an MP3 store, it will be available with the May edition Sweden Rock Magazine, issue #92, in a CD format with a cover of Woven Hand‘s “Oil On Panel,” and then pressed as a limited seven inch EP through the Century Media website later in May. The full album will be available in the regular formats of physical and digital, but also will find an LP and “limited-edition mediabook” CD version available, whatever the hell that is. Of course, I’ll be adding at least the physical CD pressing, though the “mediabook” may be a selling point if it’s something interesting and worth the probably ten plus dollars Century Media will tack onto it, or the local music stores in my area will do at least compared to the bare bones physical pressing edition.

If you can’t wait for the full-length, the CD pressing of this stream, or the vinyl one come late May, 2012, then you can stream it as long as it’s active over at this location.

Serpent Sermon‘s release schedule looks like this according to the press release accompanying the notification of this stream:

GERMANY / AUSTRIA / SWITZERLAND / NORWAY: Friday, May 25, 2012
UK / BENELUX / FRANCE / GREECE / DENMARK / PORTUGAL / REST OF EUROPE: Monday, May 28, 2012
SPAIN / ITALY: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
SWEDEN / FINLAND / HUNGARY: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND: Friday, June 1, 2012
USA / CANADA: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Article based on a lyric video provided by Century Media Records.