Colored 180g Vinyl Version
For Swedish black metal icons Marduk, war is a topic familiar. Like moth to flame, they've been drawn to modern-era bloodshed – since 1999's Panzer Division Marduk in fact. When the Swedes first moved on from reapers autumnal, black suns, and darkened wings, a lifetime's worth of intense and very real source material lay in front of them. From the brutality of the World Wars to battles before and after, Marduk's progression into grim historians – or, at the very least period-specific gearheads – is now complete with their new album, Viktoria.
Tracks like "Werwolf," "June 44," "Narva," and "Silent Night" started off as historical themes before they became bayonet-thrusting black metal. Some of the early keywords Marduk used to inform the songwriting sessions were: power, dedication, devotion, conviction, fury, blood, and iron. "This time we had three different themes when we started to work on what became Viktoria," Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson reveals. "One historical and one spiritual concept. And the third was WWII related. As the WWII concept picked up steam between albums – 2015's Frontschwein and Viktoria – we went with it."
To record Viktoria, Marduk returned to the place they've recorded every full-length since Plague Angel, Magnus ‘Devo' Andersson's Endarker Studios. With the members of Marduk producing, engineering, mixing, and mastering, the risk to the album's overall vision was low. "Viktoria was recorded in a very traditional way," says Håkansson. "Old-school recording. Analog drums, the real shit. Two guitars, bass, and vocals. We didn't use a ton of effects and crap like that. We wanted a sound that fits us, and for us to go in and nail it was the only thing we could've asked for. We captured the Viktoria moment perfectly."