Marduk
Frontschwein


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Ward EMERITUS
February 7th, 2015 | 62 replies


Release Date: 02/10/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The frontlines of aggression

There is no point in begging for Marduk to change anymore. Just like the old saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, you cannot reasonably assume that this venerable Swedish act will just pack up and move on from the vicious heaviness that has defined their very essence since they first rolled onto the second wave scene 25 years ago. So let us instead concentrate on the facts: Marduk are as energized as ever, even as the years turn into decades and the black metal scene has largely removed itself from the abrasive simplicity showcased here. Black metal is an evolutionary beast, and despite its roots in an attitude that is unwelcoming to change the scene has branched out into a million offshoots and derivations that leave the core, second-wave Norwegian style as an outlier amidst countless other acts that have claimed to “move on” from this passé style.

I have made these criticisms of Marduk myself in the past, and as I am sure many of you are aware I have been begging for Marduk to do something to revitalize their aging sound. What I have realized with the release of Frontschwein is that it is not Marduk’s approach that was at fault, it was my own. There is no point in going into one of their records expecting grandiose compositions or some semblance of sonic progression. Instead, it is critical that a listener be craving the unrelenting wall of tremolo riffing that Marduk display, because it is in this cacophony of violence that the band is at home. The skewed riffs conjure a sinister atmosphere and the band’s reversion to their mid-era fixation on World War II era imagery gives a visceral edge to a blade that was already razor sharp. Marduk’s sound is quite simply at home in this sort of landscape, with Mortuus’ superb vocals spewing out without even a hint of weariness. Everything is focused and everything is fully realized, as Marduk are at the point where they know exactly what they want their record to sound like and know exactly how to achieve that sound, and Frontschwein is no exception.

The entirety of Frontschwein is breakneck, and even during the more down-tempo tunes like “Wartheland”, the evil bellowing of “Nebelwerfer”, or “503” the record never ceases to bombard you with an assault of tumultuous drumming or slicing tremolo licks. It is all entirely unoriginal, yes, but it is still a ravaging listen if Frontschwein is approached from an angle that is open to a record done in a style that has been repeated ad infinitum over the past two decades. I don’t turn to newer Marduk in hopes of finding a taste of originality in their style anymore, because I have realized that they refuse to move on from a sound they are arguably the best at achieving: a decidedly old-school album that is not merely homage to the sound of the Scandinavian mid-90s. Marduk were there, and they helped shape a sound that bands nowadays try in vain to replicate. Thankfully, Marduk are still around and are still wholeheartedly committed to beating you senseless with each new record.




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user ratings (138)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Emeritus
February 7th 2015


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you know what, i like WWII marduk



a shorter review for a simple album

Ponton
Emeritus
February 7th 2015


6362 Comments


Dude I haven't jammed black metal in years but I feel you. You handled this well

Crysis
Emeritus
February 7th 2015


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is their best record in at least 10 years so there's no better time than now

Ponton
Emeritus
February 7th 2015


6362 Comments


Yeah? Will try once I get proper wifi

FLCL
February 7th 2015


66 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. I agree with you, not really advancing the genre but it's a formula for a solid album

MoosechriS
February 7th 2015


6350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

may eventually check this out, cool review dude

zaruyache
February 7th 2015


19821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Review didn't even mention blasts once.

Crysis
Emeritus
February 7th 2015


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

because it is always blasts

drewkar
February 7th 2015


130 Comments


So is this better than room and plague angel?

Crysis
Emeritus
February 7th 2015


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

on par with Rom for me

Ponton
Emeritus
February 8th 2015


6362 Comments


Well its black metal for sure

Tunaboy45
February 8th 2015


16583 Comments


Good review mate, need to check this out

emester
February 8th 2015


8249 Comments


Wasnt too big on this. All of Marduk's material seems a quite a bit similar to each other. Great review btw.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2015


11587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, recently jammed Dark Endless and damn that's a good album

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deathschool
February 8th 2015


22879 Comments


Every time I see this on the front page, I think it says madfuk.

Wizard
February 8th 2015


20201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is their best record in at least 10 years so there's no better time than now



Absolutely, it feels way more energized. Especially after their last few lackluster albums. And yes, I was craving the unrelenting wall of tremolo riffing when going into this haha. Great review buddy.



Wasnt too big on this. All of Marduk's material seems a quite a bit similar to each other.



I mean we bitch over lack of consistency or too much consistency in metal.

zaruyache
February 8th 2015


19821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

it's not consistency in quality, but consistency in absolute style that's boring.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2015


8016 Comments


Great review Crysis, mindpos.

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Tyrael
February 9th 2015


21112 Comments


Great to see these guys slowly getting back on track

I feel the record is slightly too long for what it is trying to accomplish though (it gets a bit tiring to listen to by the end of it)

Wizard
February 9th 2015


20201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They should cut their albums down to 30mins and they would be fucking unstoppable.



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