(8/10) Polarizing Swedish black metal quartet Marduk is back with a new album. ‘Viktoria’ follows the 2015 release ‘Frontschwein’ and marks a continuation of what started in 1990, the year Marduk was founded. As with the latest releases it’s again the furious leads and the hoarse nagging vocals of frontman Rosten being the fundamental assets of Marduk’s sound.
‚Viktoria‘ is a ruthless album, addressing the cruelty of war. Marduk had different ideas about the overall theme for the album. A spiritual concept as as well as a historical one has been options, but it‘s WW2 that became the chosen one. With all the controversy that could come with such a topic, the quartet manages to create an evil and oppressive vibe with their songs. Furious tracks like ‘Equestrian Bloodlust’ and ‘Narva’ fuel ‘Viktoria’.
What benefits the album is the variousness. Next to some fast attacks there are moments when tempo’s reduced. These parts, but also the closer ‚Silent Night’, empower the arcs of suspense, giving the album its own identity. It‘s a cold breeze of death that comes with this album and manifests itself in songs like ‚Werewolf‘, which is already known from some recently done live shows.
What fits to the context of ‚Viktoria‘ is the reduced but effective artwork. From an overarching technique perspective I had to think of Venom‘s ‚Black Metal‘ album, even though it‘s a soldier that‘s the centerpiece of ‚Viktoria‘. It contributes though to the cold and minimalistic approach and is a good match.
Marduk is a controversial band and ‚Viktoria‘ isn‘t meant to be a change driver. It‘s another merciless and brutal black metal record that addresses a lot but for sure not butterflies and bees. ‚Victoria‘ is about the hellish inferno of war, set to music with nine songs that give you the shivers.
- June 44
- Equestrian Bloodlust
- Tiger I
- The Last Fallen
- The Devil’s Song
- Silent Night
Label: Century Media
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date EU: June 22nd, 2018