June 19, 2018 Marduk – Viktoria (Album Review)
Unjustified, triggered controversy over blasphemy, war, death, and Satan are just a few of the delights of being in a die-hard Black Metal band. At the top of the chain in 2018, Sweden’s own Marduk is at it again with their fourteenth studio album, Viktoria, due to release on June 22, 2018, via Century Media Records.
With Marduk starting out using the standard principles of Death Metal that they later adapted into a fast and furious Black Metal sound, they have proven themselves to be quite serious in their musical endeavors. Marduk is not an everyday band, as their music is so intense and commanding that their fans must prepare their ears for what’s about to come as if they were preparing for a great, brutal battle.
Hailing strong since the ’90s, Marduk’s current members are Mortuus on the harsh vocals, Morgan on the satanic guitars, Devo on the heavy bass, and Fredrik on the blast-beating drums. With a very solid push forward despite modern politically-correct advocates weakly attempting to push them back, Viktoria shines bright out of the darkest depths of hell and straight into the souls of its listeners.
Starting off the 9-track album with a howling is the short yet badass song “Werwolf” that serves as the gateway punch to the rest of the Black Metal brutality. The tune “June 44” is another purest evil tackling of chaos with its super speedy Black Metal mixed with the most intensely dark and demonic vocals that help them withstand the test of time. From earlier albums such as Panzer Division Marduk to now, there is nothing that doesn’t cater to today’s culture and mindset in the loveliest of brutal ways.
One of the most intense and structurally-exciting songs on the album is “Tiger I,” because of its guttural screaming chorus into the creative blasting surges of the drums and back out into simply perfect, hard-hitting Black Metal riffs. With the sheer, blackened intensity of songs such as “Narva” and “The Last Fallen,” it is extremely easy to lose oneself into the chaotically-charred, fantastical existence and abyss of deep, dark, mind-bending internal banter.
The title track of this album is a glowing crimson gemstone in an endless sea of blackness that flows in waves of competency and gratification. It is a favorite, for sure, and a righteous climax to the album as the order of the track-listing is also structurally sound. There is no lull on this album whatsoever, with the exciting conclusion that races through the constant satanic energy of “The Devil’s Song” and then segues into the final track “Silent Night,” which weans its audience off of the brutal and into the eye of the storm.
Marduk is no joke, and with their pure Black Metal sound of evilness and mayhem they do suffer a bad reputation from those who simply cannot comprehend the positive side of their message in the Metal world. As with their evil Norwegian cohorts Taake, the basis of their power, energy, and brutal subject matter is what they excel at to dominate the Black Metal world. Thus, it is no wonder that these very qualities are often what is targeted in unwarranted takedowns, directing public loathe at the band’s very dark heart’s core.
Mind over matter, however, because Marduk is still reigning strong and sticking to their Black Metal guns in the race to the dawn of the new age; where the strong remain strong and the weak crumble out of the way. It is no exaggeration that Viktoria reeks of perfect brutality in the best stylings of Marduk, and for this very reason CrypticRock is proud to give them a 5 out of 5 stars.