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Marduk - Panzer Division Marduk
Review: Marduk plow through another blasting release of black metal made from vaguely atmospheric melody riffs speed-picked over screamingly rapid pummeling percussion, using a unification of vocal melody to stitch together a sensibility of onward motion. Their incessant and invariant use of almost trademark middle-of-the-road black metal technique takes this release beyond Norsecore to a new genericism despite the continued lifting of classical themes for the sake of chorus lines. Yet while this is at its core unsatisfying, the rhythmic hook and persistent energy of Marduk has converted many to their camp, despite unresolved instrumental and musical issues after uncountable albums from this Swedish band.
While this is easy listening for its childrens-song way of swaying a chorus into a verse and letting the rhythm carry a series of rhythmically similar phrases, with emphasis on syllables cadenced to the hooks in the vocals, it is driven by the racing percussion that is more noise than precise. The music is not complicated or new or really all that different from Dark Funeral or a million other bands making rock n roll covered in gooey melodic death metal-black metal hybrid skin.
Vocals are reminiscent of the best shrieky persistence of Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir and constant blasting drum drubbing calls to mind of Impaled Nazarene or early Bathory on a cocaine binge, yet in these moderate styles Marduk have found a mean which more than commercial is a satisfying, unchallenging compromise, and mating this with a lack of ambition in making melodic statements besides pure momentary aesthetic appeal, one has the picture of not just this band but most of the genre at this time. Sturdy riffs are nonetheless rarely significant in their structural recombination or overall melodic motion, which causes belief that this album like many recent Marduk albums is best forgotten or bought from the $2 bin on a rainy day.