Frontschwein Folly

Article by David Rosales

Marduk has never, with the exception of the laudable Opus Nocturne, boasted of a deep mystical aura imbuing their music and has rather been known for the sonic onslaught which is their music. The present work sees a band that appears to have long settled for a style and seem content to reproduce it for the benefit of an expecting audience. That is, a very palpable pop mentality has settled in, even if the music has not completely degenerated in form. The artistic vision nonetheless has affected, as is the rule, the manifested aesthetic of the music, and will predictably continue to corrode its quality as it has been doing for the past twenty years or so.

With Frontschwein, Marduk’s songwriting has become entirely dependent on the adrenaline rush of fast precision music and short hooks that provide identity to a song by being short and being repeated enough throughout the song that they remain the undisputable feature of that song. This is the laziest way of going about this, but it also allows the band to create the impression of offering a vaster experience in longer playtime. None of this is precisely a surprise, since Panzer Division Marduk the band had already established itself as the Cryptopsy of black metal: all guts, scant content despite the impression of immensity, no durability.

An important thing to notice is that songs, although bearing a certain mark of Marduk’s voice, do not follow a continued line of thought, so you may have a ripping track followed by a dance-like rhythm, then two more blasting and extremely repetitive tracks followed by this band’s attempt at a slow track. These stand out individually as being unrelated to each other. As a pop album, the blueprint followed is very effective and will continue to sell well. However, both individual songs and the album as a whole, which is even more important, will communicate nothing through its music, despite the blatant titles.

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12 thoughts on “Frontschwein Folly”

  1. Parasite says:

    Heaven Shall Burn fucking RIPS! They should have stuck to their Hordes of Swords Storming the Gates of Heaven approach, not this WW2 nonsense. Satanic nonsense is better than WW2 nonsense in my opinion. At least it can be interpreted in a metaphorical sense.

    1. Gabe Kagan says:

      Didn’t they go back to some sort of occult themed stuff for a period in the late 2000s? I doubt those albums were any less bland, but it might be of minor interest to historians.

      I used to spin “Heaven Shall Burn” occasionally as recently as a few years ago – it’s an “okay” album to reach for if you just want a simple blastfest, but I’m sure it’s been surpassed manifold by now, even in its very narrow scope.

    2. penisfingers says:

      That’s their first boring album IMO.

      TH]hose of the Unlight ( Ithink it’s claled?) gets slept on too much though. that’s a good one

  2. Anthony says:

    Hold up… I’m hoping that your Cryptopsy disparagement doesn’t extend to their more substantive works like Blasphemy Made Flesh and Ungentle Exhumation. The best of Cryptopsy is much better than the best of Marduk.

  3. Marc Defranco says:

    Honestly never gave this band a real listen after fuck me Jesus. Like that demo but later songs never hit me. Gonna check out opus and those of the.. hopefully they’re worth my time.

    1. Marc Defranco says:

      Listened to both albums today and they’re pretty good for a quick burst but not many amazing moments. Opus was better than those.. but I can see why someone might count the albums as favorites. Although some are not very similar to Marduk still prefer Mjolnir, Lunar Aurora, Moonblood, Absurd, Odal, etc. for my German bm.

      1. Belisario says:

        Because you mean Marduk are German? ò.Ó

        1. Marc Defranco says:

          Whoops got me on that one haha damn! Shows how much I actually listen to/know about the band.. All that WW2 talk got me thinking about Germany

  4. Vangelis is better says:

    Meshuggah bashing next…

    (just a suggestion)

  5. Belisario says:

    Marduk became Funeral Mist 2.0 since Mortuus got into the band in 2004, in the lyrics and partly in the music too. The other part is the always deft and catchy Morgan trademark riff material, as ear-friendly as ultimately shallow.

  6. harsh critiquer of vest patcheses says:

    a very boring band, for people who like the sounds of metal techniques instead of songs

  7. An Animal Interested in Sex, Shopping, and Hobbys [sic] says:

    These niggas have come a long way since ‘Fuck Me = Jesus’. NOT. This shit sounds like ‘Hellfire’-era 1349 covering late Cirith Ungol, with a splash of what later became Sammath ‘Godless Arrogance’. (That part is chill.) They should’ve stuck with the DM-like black metal blended with fake Celtic Frost plodding.

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