Here's an interesting effort by a band that is completely void of new ideas. An attempt to create a sound and a theme that would set itself apart from the repetitive and uninteresting sound of past albums and go in an entirely different direction. And the result was an album that sounds exactly the same with a bunch of samples of WWII thrown in. And here we come to adressing of the inherent flaws of P.D.M's sound. One that can be addressed in the quote from (of all and everything else) Spongebob that just about sums it up.
"If we play loud, people will think we're good"
There you have it. Such is the musical philosophy of Marduk, as the sound is nothing but a mindless burst of chaotic violence, without any variation, artistic vision or reason to give a ***. It comprises of nothing above these terribly uninspired guitar riffs, which just repeat over and over and over again, along with some very violent blast beats that just force their way through the sound, ripping apart everything in their path, and Leigon's forced and throaty vocals to top off the whole mix. And all of these things already, on their own, are very mediocre and the end result is just as boring as it is meaningless. There is obviously no creativity or thought going into this. It's pretty standard black metal, but with every song following the same structure, style, tempo, pretty much every song is just a recycling of the previous one, all serving one purpose of being (quote) "evil" and "brutal". A goal that can only work for so long. But the complete laziness of the record is just painfully obvious, when you're listening to it and realize that this whole album is just one song being played on repeat that have only one or two teaks here and there to be able to tell the difference. This utter monotony makes the album borderline unbearable and I dare anyone to listen to "Baptism By Fire", "Christraping Black Metal" and "Fist***ing's God's Planet" and be able to tell me the difference between these tracks.
It might be obvious by the name and the album cover that the main theme of the album is war. More specifically, World War II. A gimmick that has a lot of potential for a concept, but its completely wasted. There is nothing at all separating this album from the rest of their discography save for a *** ton of sound samples. Now going back to what I said at the start of this review, I do feel like that Marduk was attempting to break away from what they had been doing for the past five albums and wanted to do something entirely different. But also what it feels like, when listening to it, I get the impression that the band had no idea on how to make something different and instead just went with what they had been doing for the past five albums, added a few sound bites of Stuka roars, tank engines and machine gun fire and that would be enough to create a totally new sound. And obviously that didn't work out too well.
If the terrible song writing wasn't enough, another problem this album suffers from is the production, which is an absolute joke. The drums overpower everything and vaguely popping up in this wall of noise are the riffs that are barely noticeable and then the vocals, which have little to no presence whatsoever, and at times are so buried in the mixing that at times they sound like nothing but vague white noise. Now this album is from 1999 so one expects the production to be great, but I mean, come-on, the production the band's debut "Dark Endless" was better than this, and that album was from seven years earlier. Though its not much of a loss, because even if you could hear the music properly it still would suck.
By the time to closer 8th song comes about, I've been praying for it to end for the past seven songs. All it is, is just thirty minutes of mind numbingly boring and unoriginal black metal that does nothing but rehash itself over and over and over again for eight songs that tries to be "inventive" with a WWII theme which ends up doing nothing to make the album unique or original in any way, shape or form. It's an utterly boring release of repetitive, unlistenable material devoid of any creativity, substance or meaning, but how much that really says is unclear because pretty much the same can be said for all Legion era Marduk albums.