By Dr. Abner Mality

Coming off a recent American tour where several shows were canceled due to the activity of the antifa, we have Marduk returning to battle with another example of military themed black metal. So they certainly haven’t backed down on their message and in fact they’ve doubled down on it. I’ve mused before if these guys ever fired a gun at anything more than a fixed target in their lives or did a 20 mile march through snow and sleet with an armed enemy on their heels. The answer is probably no, yet they do exude a real aura of militarism that comes across in their music.

“Viktoria” is about as stripped down as the Marduk sound can get.  The album is much briefer and to the point than “Front Schwein”, blasting at you with short, brutal songs and eschewing any sort of frills or excess. In other words, they are the utter opposite of Dimmu Borgir and all the better for it. They certainly did not overthink “Viktoria” and the result is concentrated savagery. “Werwolf”, “June 44” and “Equestrian Bloodlust” show the relentlessly fast side of Marduk while “Tiger 1” and “The Last Fallen” are more of the bulldozing slower side of the band. Cuts like “Silent Night” and the title track seem to be the result of the band distilling themselves down to the purest essence. Zero growth and forward movement….and for this band, that is a plus.

Pure, concentrated Marduk on “Viktoria”…that’s what they were looking for, that’s what they got!