In their neary 30 years of creating blistering black metal, Marduk remain at the forefront of the genre, as evidenced by Viktoria. Morgan “Evil” Steinmeyer Håkansson, the sole original member, has done well to keep the band true to the black metal movement, yet interesting enough to remain relevant, despite the trials and tribulations they’ve encountered.
Viktoria opens with “Werewolf” amid blast beats and air raid sirens. The song is brutal from front to back, and it spares no lives in its punishment. “June 44” is a bit more melodic but still shows no mercy. “Equestrian Bloodlust” really highlights why vocalist Mortuus is one of the best in the genre, and his gargled shrieks and haunting screams are second to none. “Tiger 1I” is a different animal, slow and brooding yet heavy as hell. “Narva” brings back the crunching blast beats, but adds a different dimension in the chorus. It’s tribal and hypnotic. The title track is blistering! It is the epitome of everything Marduk bring to the table and is black metal at its finest. “Silent Night” takes the album out in epic proportions. Like “Tiger 1,” it’s slow, yet still heavy as fucking lead, and easily my favorite song on this album.
Marduk have created one monster of a black metal album with Viktoria. Every song stands on its own, and the entire album is an entertaining and fun listen.
Viktoria is out now on Century Media Records. Buy it here!