Tag Archives: swedish black metal

Blood and Iron: Review Marduk – Viktoria – Century Media Records – June 2018 AB

Heic Noenum Pax or Here’s no Peace, as Marduk once put it so well. Starting with Wormwood, they got us used to releasing albums every three years, in a feverishly chronology. So, 3 years after the surprisingly good Frontschwein, Marduk will release on the 22nd of June their 14th full length album, Viktoria (Century Media Records), a name as simple and short as its content: 9 songs under 33 minutes, an album shorter than the mighty Panzer Division Marduk, which was considered the Reign in Blood of black metal.

If I kept mentioning the number 3, I would also like to mention the 3 periods in Marduk‘s long lasting activity: the first period of the early and mid 90’s when they were trying to find their own identity, the Legion period with classics like Nightwing and Panzer Division Marduk, and the period with Mortuus on vocals, who brought the much sought consistency and clarity for this acclaimed band.
Cause after this fantastic vocalist joined Marduk, the band has immediately found its own path and started to release consistent albums, one after another, until today. Also, with Mortuus, Marduk has become one of the truest bands active in this fucked up scene, a band that doesn’t give a fuck about the leftist politically correctness and who just delivers whatever the fuck it wants.
Add to this “behaviour” the impressive shows, with no gimmicks, just the right black metal attitude and atmosphere. Cause every Marduk concert is actually a fist in the face of all the posers and trend setters of today, be it musicians or fans.

marduk band photo

Viktoria is no filler and starts exactly where Frontschwein has ended. In a nutshell, this rocket-like album is ugly, fast and deadly.

From the very first track, Werewolf, which was also the first single the band released in April, one can almost expect what will happen on the album. The punkish vibe of the track hits you hard in the face and goes on for 2 minutes in a groovy double pedaled rhythm.

But then all hell breaks loose and the next 2 tracks, June 44 and Equestrian Bloodlust, are exactly what Marduk is about: fierce, cold riffs and sharp blast beats mix with the insane growls of Mortuus, who shots his verses like some old rusty MG 42s hidden in the bunkers above the Falaise.
The speed and the precision of the instruments are incredible, creating a black metal whirlwind of sound. To be honest I just cannot figure how (or where) Marduk found the inspiration to reinvent themselves (again) in such a brilliant way.

After the cavalcade of these three aggressive tracks, it’s now time to catch our breath and seek shelter in the cold, soaked trenches cause Tiger I shows its ugly face on the horizon. This slow, crushing song reminds of the deadly tanks which were the kings of the battlefields in the 2nd World War, from the East to the West.
“Grand horse of steel, sword of flame – the ground is shaking
Massive apparatus of death, 58 tons of hate”.

Pounding drums and hateful vocals accompany this monster of a song all through its duration of 4:12 minutes, while during the bridge and towards the end of the track, machine gun like riffs and blast beats explode to conclude its march.

The album continues with one of the best Marduk tracks I listened to recently, “Narva“, a pure sonic onslaught of hate and destruction (just like the fate of this Baltic city). The song is split in the middle by some groovy drum parts while Mortuus, with its cavernous voice, vomits “Down, see Narva go down”. Outstanding track!

The Last Fallen, the title track Viktoria with its sick chorus and intriguing bass parts and the amazing The Devil’s Song carry us through a battlefield of horrors, accompanied by relentless shelling in form of insane blast beats, precise riffing and chaotic vocals.

Marduk Viktoria cover

Even if the 4 musicians have outdone themselves on this album until now, the best is yet to come, in the form of Silent Night, the last song of this fantastic album which closes the hostilities in a slow march of death and despair. Featuring Mortuus‘s best vocals so far, the track seems like a mockery of the famous Christmas carol many people celebrate in the coziness of their homes:

“Silent night
we share the sacred promise of death
Holy night
aligned shall we enter the last breath”

Overall, Viktoria is a very solid album and bears Marduk‘s trademark all over it. Lyrics about war, death, panzers, historical events, all seen through the lens of 4 black metal musicians. Musicians who have evolved to the point of perfection, transforming a band once on the verge of mediocrity into a real monster, which, after almost 30 years of activity, has become probably one of the best black metal of this planet.
I specifically want to praise here the drummer, Fredrik Widigs, who reached a level of total insanity on this album. Marduk has always had great drummers, but the work this guy did on Frontschwein and more recent on Viktoria shows that what were are dealing with here is much more than talent, is almost “insanity”.

The only thing which I really do not dig and not understand is the cover, which I think is one the most “unsuccessful” covers Marduk ever used (and they used some, especially in the mid 90’s). I am pretty sure that a better cover would have suited this album better, but after all, as I already said it above, Marduk do what they want and I have to respect that.

If you will have the chance to see them live this summer in support of this great album, do not miss them or you’ll be sorry. This band really has the best line-up ever.

Marduk – Viktoria track list:

1. Werwolf
2. June 44
3. Equestrian Bloodlust
4. Tiger I
5. Narva
6. The Last Fallen
7. Viktoria
8. The Devil’s Song
9. Silent Night

Marduk Line-up:

Mortuus – Vocals
Morgan Hakanson – Guitars
Magnus “Devo” Andersson – Bass
Fredrik Widigs – Drums

Band contact:
https://www.facebook.com/Mardukofficial
http://www.centurymedia.com/artist.aspx?IdArtist=275
http://marduk.nu/

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Funeral Mist – Hekatomb album review – NoEvDia – June 2018 AB

“And all that is Holy, Holy shall be”.

He who listeneth to black metal should have heareth about Funeral Mist. At least once in his life time. After the MCD Devilry (1998) and 2 albums, Salvation (2003) and Maranatha (2009), the infamous Swedish black metal band is back (from the dead) with a spiteful vengeance. Funeral Mist stands as a temple of blasphemy, erected upon the pillars which are its albums. The more are added to its foundation, the stronger and menacing this temple becomes.

Funeral Mist Logo

To be absolutely honest, I wasn’t even hoping that Arioch will release again an album with Funeral Mist, for many reasons. Reading some of the few interviews he gave some time ago, (the most notable was the one for Slayer Mag nr XX), I got the impression that this band was history and after the superb Maranatha there will be no more Funeral Mist for us.
Since Arioch joined Marduk under the alias Mortuus and dedicated his artistic life to that band for the past 14 years, I really thought that after Maranatha Funeral Mist would be a closed chapter in the black metal history book.

Continue reading Funeral Mist – Hekatomb album review – NoEvDia – June 2018 AB

March of Blood and Iron Tour: Marduk live in Budapest – May 2018 AB

The third leg of the March of Blood and Iron Tour 2018 stopped in Budapest Friday,the 4th of May. Having already seen the 3 bands present on the bill before – Infernal War, Ragnarok and Marduk – I decided to go to the venue (Supersonic Blue Hell) out of curiosity and why not, for a pleasant way to spend Friday night.

Since the venue is 10 minutes from my place, I arrived there around 19.30, just in time to grab a drink and enjoy the opening act, the Poles from Infernal War. As you may know by now, their Polish date in Rzeszów was cancelled due to some assholes sabotaging the venue, in a desperate way to stop the so called “neo-nazi/satanic panic”. I won’t go into further details here, but I cannot and will not agree, never in a thousand years, with such a mindless behavior.
Continue reading March of Blood and Iron Tour: Marduk live in Budapest – May 2018 AB

A Thousand Burning Worlds – An interview with Malakhim – March 2018 AB

From Sweden comes a new band, called Malakhim, Satan’s messenger. In 2017 they released Demo I, a fantastic demo tape containing 3 songs of wicked black metal (review can be found here), so I was curious to find out more about what’s behind this band. E (vocals) was kind enough to answer my questions. Enjoy!

I. Originally, in the Hebrew Bible, a Mal’akh was an angel, a messenger of God. Whose messengers are you and what is your aim? What do you want to express with your music and lyrics, now when so much has been already said and done?

Correct, and in our case the interpretation should be a bit more ambiguous. Whom do we speak of? Satan. Simply put. Malakhim is an expression of urges and ideas that somehow isn’t always easy to explain. Suffice to say that its our creative outlet, and we pour whatever impulses and ideas we get in the creative process into the vessel that makes up the band.
You’re right, a lot has already been said and done, and we’re not going out there with some fresh new mission or pretending to bring something unique. We’ve decided to create our art because we wanted to create our art.

 
Continue reading A Thousand Burning Worlds – An interview with Malakhim – March 2018 AB

Malakhim – Demo I review March 2018 AB

Malakhim logo

One of the best debut demo tapes released last year comes from Sweden, of course. Umea to be exact, the birth place of Malakhim, the new band in town when it comes to black metal.

Released first in October 2017 on the band’s Bandcamp page, Demo I gained immediately a “cult” status in the black metal underground, so when the tape version was officially announced one month later, it got sold out in several hours. For me that was a huge surprise, but considering how the three tracks sounded, the reaction was completely justified. When 100 copies go away in less than a day, there must be something “wrong” with your music, right? It must be that good!
Continue reading Malakhim – Demo I review March 2018 AB

Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse album review January 2018 AB

When you have been active for 20 years, you have released a bunch of classic black metal albums and you have experimented with different musical approaches, what would you do, in 2018, when you’re about to release your 6th full length? That’s right, you go back to your roots, with an even stronger will and “Fuck You World” attitude.

Of course I am talking about Watain here, who on the 5th of January have released an album which took me quite some time to digest. Not because I did not like it, but because every time I wanted to write something about it, it unveiled new hidden features, which made me listen to it again and again and again.

Continue reading Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse album review January 2018 AB

Blast From the Past – Episode 1: Mork Gryning and Vinterland

Over the years, many good bands have released fantastic albums everybody appreciated and many good bands have released albums that, even though were very good, became underrated and succumbed into oblivion.
Everybody knows that in the middle of the 90’s, black metal was sweeping across Scandinavia in particular and Europe in general like a black plague, hundreds and hundreds of bands coming out of nowhere and jumping into this extreme metal bandwagon, just because it was very, very popular. Because of these bands, other really good ones, formed by talented musicians who identified themselves with this music and ideology released some memorable albums which unfortunately were left on history’s shelf and the world forgot about them. I’m talking about Mörk Gryning, a two man band hailing from…Sweden, where else from, whose members released their debut album “Tusen år Har Gått” when they were 15 and 18 years old respectively.

Released on the now defunct No Fashion Records in 1995, “Tusen år Har Gått” (Thousand Years Have Passed) is very similar in approach to Dissection, Sacramentum, Dark Funeral, Vinterland, Lord Belial and other Swedish hordes that released their albums around the same period, on the same label and almost in the same style. But, that does not make Mörk Gryning a copy cat, on the contrary.

Mörk Gryning - Tusen år Har Gått
Mörk Gryning – Tusen år Har Gått

Recorded in the famous Unisound Studios (owned by the mighty Dan Swano, who also plays drums on the 1st track, as Day Disaraah), “Tusen år Har Gått” is a milestone in the career of this very young and talented band.

Lasting a bit over half an hour, the album begins with an instrumental track, “Dagon“, followed in full force by “Journey“. From the very first listen I loved the speed and aggression that were combined with a certain melancholic “melody” which made the whole content extremely enjoyable. The 2 young members ( Goth Gorgon – bass, guitars, keyboards and Draakh Kimera – drums, guitars and vocals) are very talented, playing their instruments with an unusual ease, not that characteristic to teenagers.

Continue reading Blast From the Past – Episode 1: Mork Gryning and Vinterland