Marduk and their fascination with the war machine is back once more in one of their most savage offerings yet. June 22nd sees the band release ‘Viktoria’, a record filled with some blistering black metal the band are synonymous for 28 years into their career and what a way to celebrate.
The opening track to the record has been circulating for some time now and it seems only appropriate that the sound of alarms whaling almost wolf like as the music punches into gear, riffs and double bass are with us in an instant. Its clear from the outset that Marduk are taking no prisoners. Its full throttle and immediate. ‘Werewolf’ is a short sharp shock to the listener and opens things up perfectly for ‘June 44’ to keep the thunder rolling. Blast beats and double bass drums are a plenty here. This is classic Marduk and one that will surely go down well with fans old and new.
Lyrically, the record, as expected focuses on historical war events. “Overall, I would say we have a fascination with the whole war machine,” says founding member/guitarist Morgan Håkansson. “At least from my point of view, the Germans had the most fascinating machinery and equipment. Viktoria is not a stand- point, however. It’s just a reflection of history, the way it happened. With that in mind, it’s more interesting to write a soundtrack tied to specific historical events. Look at movies, for example. They’ve tackled both sides of World War II. So, Viktoria is more about history. Nothing more. Nothing less.”
There is no letting up on ‘Viktoria’ With ‘Equestrian Bloodlust’ providing the listener some fine moments in extreme metal. The riffs in particular are some of the best on the record. Its a track racing 100mph to the finishing line allowing for a slight break in tempo as we enter the track ’Tiger I’, a more mid tempo and traditional take on a black metal song allowing the listener to breath for a minute or two.
A special mention has to go to the title track however being one of the most memorable moments on the record. If you took everything you had heard at this point and compacted it all into one three minute track, you would have ‘Viktoria’ whilst ‘The Devils Song’ gives us something a little more melodic without losing its edge making this one all encompassing Black Metal record that contains most of the fundamentals of the genre which at this point, Marduk, as expected after almost three decades, have mastered, without a doubt.