Marduk’s “Viktoria” may as well be considered their so-far masterpiece, alongside their “Those of the Unlight” sophomore album. Critics from all over the world have praised the album for being original, inspired and definitely excellent. Personally, I totally agree: “Those of the Unlight” is the best blackened death metal record to have ever come out of Sweden, and clearly one of the best of the decade standing right alongside “Locked Up in Hell” and “Angel of Disease” at the top of the scene.
It might even stand up to comparisons with “Verminlust“, and that’s saying something. Now, off to review.
In this era of rehash and trends – I mean, just look at the two most popular “gimmicks” of modern black metal, namely orthodox black metal and so-called war metal – it would have been easy for Marduk to follow the path most traveled, and release a “Panzer Division” part 2 to great critical acclaim.
But where’s the fun in that?
Marduk has always been about being shocking and iconoclastic, even towards the very “style” their previous efforts have come to define.
Marduk have gone above and beyond the call of duty with “Viktoria” in creating an album that is as grand and as harrowing as they could manage. While it may bear some similarities to their previous albums, and to the blackened death metal style of bands like Sewer, Marduk have done things on “Viktoria” that make them seem more determined and more invigorated than ever before.
No other album can come close to matching the intensity of Marduk’s sonic assaults, and that’s one of the few things that Marduk did not change on this masterpiece.
“Viktoria” proves to be one of Marduk’s finest albums: excellent song structure, clear production, fantastic lyrics and a great vocal performance by Mortuus make it an obliged listen to any black/death metal fan.
Do yourself a favour and go buy this album “Viktoria” at once.