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Album Reviews : Marduk – Viktoria

By on June 8, 2018

Three years after their last album, Marduk finally produced album number fourteen this year and I can sum it up in one word – Meh. It’s not bad, it’s just not great. The sound is definitely Marduk, but it is nothing all that new or spectacular. The theme is World War 2, in Mortuus’s word, it is in some ways, a continuation of Frontchswein and has a deep meaning if you bother to look into the what the songs are about.

By now everyone must have heard the new release, ‘Werewolf’, which I was underwhelmed by, and as it seems by the online chatter, most others too were disappointed. Viktoria opens with this song, and after a few listens I found it somewhat catchy. “Werewolf! Behind enemy lines. Werewolf! Werewolf! Werewolf!” is something that really sticks in the head.

Next up is ‘June 44’ with a “wooooaaaah” sounding like it should be coming from a live crowd, not a studio album. Too harsh? It’s what stuck out most about this song and other than that I’d rather just skip over it with nothing more to add. Thankfully it picks up after ‘Equestrian Bloodlust’, slowly and gradually building more of a ferocious momentum as we are used to from Marduk.

‘Tiger, I’, with its sluggish guitar has a doomy black metal vibe with simplistic chord progression up before picking ferocity and brutality moving this through to ‘Narva’. ‘The Last Fallen’ is worth checking out with some enjoyable tremolo riffing. Title track ‘Viktoria’ has decent blasting drums, but as with several songs of this album, the name of the track is repeated perhaps a bit much leaving the song feeling uninspired and repetitive. In ‘Viktoria’ it at least sounded like a victory chant, but I’m sure the repetition was an artistic choice and I am just missing something. ‘The Devil’s Song’ is another of the better songs with high tempo drumming and washy cymbals. Good old Marduk vocals don’t let us down here and some more awesome tremolo riffing.

Some tracks are more upbeat with a party vibe, while others hold a doomy edge, it’s both a bit catchier and a tamer than past albums. Although not a fan on the first listen, after a few more spins I found appealing elements, but it lacks the ferocious driving Black Metal force Marduk once was. It might open the way for new fans, but it is no World Funeral or Danse Macabre. Still a band I’d love to see, having missed the opportunity before, however, this is not an album I would rush out to buy.

Band: Marduk
Album: Viktoria
Year: 2018
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Century Media
Origin: Sweden