Metal Life Album Review: MARDUK – Frontschwein
It’s been three long years, but finally avid black metal fans are able to unleash bloody hellfire upon their ears with the release of Marduk’s thirteenth chapter. Escaping the spiritual perdition of Serpent Sermon, the Swedish black metal commandants return to the terrestrial kind of war, a topic that has not been visited by the band in almost ten years. It is an insult to the ingenuity of this album to do nothing but label it as Panzer Division’s blood brother. Frontschwein is a successful continuation in the life of one of the most effectively dangerous black metal bands thriving today. The same ballsy creativity that made Serpent Sermon one of the best metal albums of 2012 is even more pronounced in Frontschwein and is an absolute gem hellbent on pioneering this year in metal.
One of the most prominent qualities of Marduk is their superb ability to control speed and the consequential ability to create multiple melodic lines that synchronize with gifted precision. “Blond Beast”’s groove-driven death march reinforces the strength of “Evil”’s compelling tritonic riffs, until “Afrika” drills you into the ground with chugging blast beats and the lyrical venom of Mortuus, the plague angel himself. “Afrika” is by far my favorite track on the record because of its non-stop fury that creates an aura as desolate and unforgiving as the Dark Continent itself. “Wartheland” is another must-listen, with dual guitar harmonies that intersect and split in smooth rotation, journeying through the dark history of the Nazi invasion of Poland. “Nebelwerfer” is another bombshell of a song, continuing the majestic military death march established by “Blond Beast.” The constant accelerating and halting of “Falaise: Cauldron of Blood” will leave you surprised yet exhilarated, and the tongue-twisting, death-defying grand finale “Thousand-Fold Death” will leave you breathless yet ready for round two.