Frontschwein – Marduk

Posted on January 15, 2016

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DSCF0819 RI am aware that I’m a year late with Marduks latest piece of work, Frontschwein, but to my defense.. 2015 haven’t been a Marduk year for me, even though I still love them.
So I was really never interested when Frontschwein came out and I thought it could have been a bit rushed, but it was actually their first album since Serpent Sermon in 2012 so..

And I was only half wrong there. Though Frontschwein has a totally different tone to it than Serpent Sermon had, it doesn’t sound rushed. BUT, this album lacks something that I really can’t put my finger on, it feels as if though the songs don’t have much character or written with as much passion, but on the other side there are some really good songs presented here as well.
But with that said, Frontschwein isn’t a bad album so let’s just dive right into it.

The album opens up with the title track and also one of the best songs featured here, it’s just a great head smashing song that you would expect from Marduk, even though some guitar stuff can be a little annoying at times, it doesn’t destroy this beauty of a track.
But after Frontschwein they decided to slow down with The Blond Beast, which many people seems to have problem with but I like it. It has a strange sorta beat to the drums but it works good to provide a great atmosphere to the song overall.
If i’m going to have any complains about this song, it would be that it is yet another song about Reinhard Heydrich, whom we all know Marduk wrote about in their 2004 song The Hangman Of Prague. It would just be much more interesting if they wrote about other people too, like Heinrich Himmler for example would make a great fit for a Marduk song. I have to admit that I’m not very sure if they have already done that, but to my knowledge they haven’t and that is a bit surprising since it’s Marduk we are talking about.
Moving on..

Afrika is one of those songs that didn’t held up for me at first, it’s heavy and fast yeah but for some reason it lacks that little extra to put it among Marduks best. It’s still a good song to blast your windows out to and I have noticed it growing on me, but there are a lot of other Marduk songs that I’d rather prefer.
There are other strong tracks like Rope Of Regret, Between the Wolf-Packs, Thousand-Fold Death and Doomsday Elite and they are always welcomed and very nice to listen to, but in the end they all seems to lack some character.
Nebelwerfer is one that sticks out a little for me, I would love for this song to be fast and chaotic but it sadly isn’t and made me very disappointed when I first heard it. But later on while giving it a chance for what it was.. I’ll say it’s a great song if you want your dose of slowed down Marduk.

Marduk 2014, left to right: Morgan (guitar) Widigs (drums) Mortuus (vocals) Devo (bass)

So what is my overall impression of Frontschwein?
Well, simply put it: It’s Marduk. It deliveres what you can expect from this band and if that’s what you are going for, then you’re gonna like this one.
Thinking a little more deeply about the album, I think it lacks some character as mentioned before and can be very similar to all their albums since 2004, and you can for example compare Souls For Belial (from Serpent Sermon) to the title track of this album, and the placing of mid tempo songs in the setlist etc.
It seems that Marduk has reached it’s peak with their singer Mortuus, there isn’t anything new they can try out and are starting to sound the same album after album. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.
Yeah they experimented a little on Serpent Sermon and it worked out okay, but it seems like with Frontschwein the band wanted to head back to their safe areas and do what they are best known for, mainly frenzied, chaotic and very fast Black Metal with a WW2 theme.
Morgan always says in interviews that he pictures something in his mind and are trying to write the soundtrack to it, so I’ll give them that, every Marduk album have that authentic feel to it and so does Frontschwein too.

Frontschwein is a good album that keeps growing on me and is very well worth checking out, if you are expecting the good old Marduk style with Mortuus providing some great vocals.
But if you want something new, experimental or something that really sticks out from their previous albums, you are not going to find it here.
I am very curious though what will happen next, if the band will take another turn or just stay safe with their trademarked sound. They are at least not showing any signs of slowing down, and that’s good ;)

7/10

Photo 1: Robin Renmark

Photo 2: Used with permission from Century Media Records

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Posted in: Black Metal, Metal