Black metal is a genre that never feels like it gets the attention it deserves. Outside of its controversies, the genre has given metal some really solid material. And speaking of solid material, legendary black metal outfit Marduk return with their latest album, “Viktoria”, but can this album live up to the expectations? “Werwolf” opens this album up, and begins with some solid black metal right off the bat. This is textbook black metal, from the production to vocal style, and should fit right in with fans. “June 44” continues, opening up with a fast paced riff and very heavy instrumental. The writing is very tight, and the main riff is definitely worth mentioning.
Up next is “Equestrian Bloodlust”, which begins slow, but pick up and becomes another track that follows the traditional black metal formula of being very fast and heavy, with solid writing to back it up. “Tiger I” is up next, and unfortunately is the first big misstep on this album. The band slows the pace down, a lot. As much as variation can help an album, this song kills all momentum the album has, and while it isn’t a bad song at all, it just feels out of place compared to the previous material. “Narva” returns to the more traditional sound, being extremely fast with a solid black metal riff. This song is enjoyable as hell, and is an easy highlight on this album. Up next is the “The Last Fallen”, which opens a bit slower, with a nice opening guitar, before picking up once again with another good black metal riff.
The title track, “Viktoria” is next, and continues the trend of solid black metal played at intense speed. The writing on this song is extremely tight, and is another nice cut on this album. A soundbite of footsteps opens up “The Devil’s Song, followed by a nice transition with the main riff. There’s a certain creepy atmosphere to this song that last well executed, and definitely gives the song an interesting feel. “Silent Night” is the final song on this album, and while not a bad song, does feel like a bit of a misstep for how to end the album. The slow pace overall once again slows the momentum, and while, again, not a bad song, does feel a bit out of place, especially for a closer. Despite that, this is a very solid black metal album. While it doesn’t necessarily offer anything new, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a blast with this album.
Overall Score: 8.0/10
Review by Sam Hookom