Album Review: Marduk - Viktoria
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: 22 June 2018
Review by Steve Jenkins
Controversial Swedish black metal band, Marduk, have caused quite a stir as of late after being accused of paying tribute to Nazism through their music. Although they themselves deny all such allegations. But despite all of this, there's no denying that Marduk have been an important band in the black metal scene over the past 25 years, and let's face it, they will probably never change.
With Viktoria, it's the bands 14th studio album and their sound is still loud, abrasive, aggressive and fast. This is not your extravagant, theatrical display of black metal that has become quite popular, this is raw and gritty with violent approach. The riffs are breakneck, with the speed of guitarist Morgan "Evil" Steinmeyer Håkanss being a real highlight on the album. With Mortuus’ superb yet disturbing vocals spewing out without even a hint of weariness. The album is over before you know it, which is probably what may bring the rating down for this release, because it does seem rather rushed and when you take out the best tracks which include "The Last Fallen", "June 44" and "Narva." I must also point out the incredible drumming from Fredrik Widigs, his blast-beats and the way he holds a song completely together is just nothing short of brilliant.
Whilst Viktoria might not be the best black metal release of 2018, it's certainly not the worst. I guess I just expected a little more from these guys, and I think if they made some of the slower tracks a bit longer it would have made the album feel more complete and added a little more structure. As a fan of black metal, I don't often turn to modern Marduk when I want to listen to something incredible, and I don't see them evolving or changing their style in years to come. There's plenty of other great black metal releases to listen to this year from the likes of Watain, Tribulation and plenty of underground bands. Viktoria is a mostly forgettable release, that just leaves you wanting more.
6 out of 10.
Watch the lyric video for "Werwolf" below:
Viktoria is out now via Century Media Records.