Every time I hear Marduk mentioned, I stand at attention. This was definitely also the case when I heard that they finally released their new album, Viktoria. With their previous album release, Frontschwein, being such a big part of all my playlists, I cannot hold my excitement in anymore.
The album starts off with the track, Werwolf. I really enjoy the sound of the guitar on this track. It feels a lot more like old-school Black Metal – this is what excites me. As always, Mortuus is doing an extremely amazing job with the vocals. I see him as one of the best vocalists in modern times when it comes to Black Metal. Werwolf however feels like a tame offering when it comes to Marduk.
The album burst into the second track, June 44. So much blasting going on with the drums and a very tasteful riff to set the stage for the vocals to enter. This is the Marduk that I love. Hard hitting full-on in your face Black Metal. This continues through the entire song, not giving you a single second to stop banging your head.
One of the singles that were released from this album, Equestrian Bloodlust, is up next. Another big reason for my love for this band is that it is literally a history lesson every time you listen to them. That is definitely also the case with this track in particular. This not only tells the story of the intensity of war and the death that it brings, but it also makes you feel it in your chest with the intensity of the music. It is one of my favourite tracks on the album.
My absolute favourite track on the album is Tiger I. The slow, cold sounding riffs it starts out with feels so relaxing. I know that is probably not the best way to describe Black Metal, but it really does that. This track is absolutely brilliantly executed. The vocals fuse into the music in such an expert way. The guitaring in this track really stands out above everything in this album to me as well.
Another interesting track to me is The Last Fallen. The song almost sounded unlike Marduk to me at the start, but this soon changed and I was back to feeling that Marduk is doing an excellent job at staying true to their roots. They are one of the few bands that do that still, and I have huge respect for them for doing that.
The title track on this album, Viktoria, is also worth mentioning. There’s some strange things going on in this track – it is not bad at all though. It made me feel a little strange when the guitars changed and emphasis on the bass guitar became apparent. This was however just for a short while. What follows that will surely blow your mind. Pure darkness.
The Devil’s Song is another one of my favourites. It is a little darker and yes, it focuses on death. That is what makes this album so superb. The darkness turns into art. You’ll just have to hear it to understand.
The album closes off with one of my absolute favourite church hymns, Silent Night. The church of Black Metal that is. Another one of the slower tracks on this album. This closing track ensures that you start the album from track one again.
My Conclusion on Marduk’s Viktoria
I have waited long for this album to finally be released, let me tell you this – It was well worth the wait. Marduk definitely keeps true to their art. They are some of the best musicians alive on this planet, and I hope they keep at it for many years to come. Viktoria is my favourite release for this year so far.
Century Media Records
2. June 44
3. Equestrian Bloodlust
4. Tiger I
6. The Last Fallen
8. The Devil’s Song
9. Silent Night
M. Håkansson (Morgan) – Guitars
Devo Andersson – Bass
D. “Mortuus” Rostén – Vocals
F. Widigs – Drums