MARDUK Frontman Creating His Own Path

Stefan Raduta of recently conducted an interview with vocalist Daniel "Mortuus" Rosten of Swedish black metallers MARDUK and FUNERAL MIST. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. But where do you see the black metal scene going today?

Mortuus: The thing is, this question is almost impossible to answer, because a portion of the scene is going in one direction, while the other one is different. There is only one path for me, as far as I'm concerned. So what is black metal to you, then?

Mortuus: Black metal to me is as simple as it gets: it's metal music with a Satanic, destructive message, or a devil-worshipping message. That's it, nothing else. Were you nervous the first time you went on stage with [MARDUK]?

Mortuus: I was not nervous but was actually not a very good show for me, I think. When I look back at it now, I realize that a lot of my energy went into trying to remember the lyrics. I wanted to be really well rehearsed so I could focus on my presence on stage…but instead of that I had to think of the what the following line was going to be. I think that affected the outcome, in my views, anyway. Recording "Plague Angel" had to be a very interesting experience. Did you have to adapt yourself to the album's songs, did Morgan ask you to do anything different than you would have normally done it?

Mortuus: No, I didn't concern myself with what they might have expected from me. I went in and did it my own way. I look at it like this: This is what I want my black metal to be like, sound like and feel like. If the band has a problem with it they can obviously tell me and we could work it out, but since I've been with MARDUK it's never been the case. Everyone seems happy so it's OK. [FUNERAL MIST's] "Maranatha" got a lot of mixed reviews…

Mortuus: I know. Either it was taken as it was and got praised, or it was just seen less intense than "Salvation" and it got destroyed, there was no in between. I personally love it. Is it what you wanted it to be? It's definitely different than its predecessor…

Mortuus: In a way, it is and it is not. I totally stand behind this album. First of all, I never ever recorded any music just for the sake of being different, for wanting to stand out. I don't believe in that. I stayed in the studio until I was 100% satisfied with the result like I always have; until my original vision was fulfilled. If it takes me ten years to record something, then so be it, that's what it takes. Secondly, it was not my intention to record "Salvation II". I've already recorded "Salvation" so I never had a plan to record a follow-up. For me it's not a step up or a step down, I don't see it in these terms. It's more like a step on the side, if anything. This album is all I wanted it to be, so take it or leave it, that's how I see it. I don't concern myself with what others do, I don't try to top anyone. Which is not what MARDUK is doing either…

Mortuus: Absolutely. We create our own path. So today I got to listen to the new MARDUK album, "Wormwood", set for release in late September…I was totally blown away, it's so crushing! "Plague Angel" is definitely my favorite after "Panzer Division". "Rom 5:12" had a lot of fresh ideas and it took me a while to get over the fact that it wasn't as straightforward.

Mortuus: OK, if that's how you see it… "Wormwood" just breathes of FUNERAL MIST, it feels soaked in its blood, I feel "Maranatha"'s influence all over it. In my eyes it's obvious this is your input, because MARDUK's never really been so sophisticated, so varied and occult. How much of it is written by you?

Mortuus: Look, I wrote some of the music, I wrote some of the lyrics. The most important thing is that just like the last two albums, "Wormwood" is recorded by MARDUK, as a whole unit. It doesn't matter who did what, who came with what idea. We are as one. Where do you see this band going in the future? We can already talk about a great past…

Mortuus: Actually, we are not at a point right now where we can think so far ahead. We're just about to release this album, and we're touring a lot in the near future. We're taking it day by day. Who knows what will happen years from now, we're not worried about that.

Read the entire interview from


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