Marduk - _Panzer Division Marduk_
(Osmose Productions, 1999)
by: David Rocher (9 out of 10)
Allegedly and undoubtedly Marduk's most violent opus to date, _Panzer Division Marduk_ definitely has the devastating heaviness to match its uncompromising pretences! In a mere half hour of devastating, insane lightspeed brutality, Marduk have succeeded -- and with slightly more finesse at that than the blatantly unsubtle cover art suggests -- in spawning an album so massively aggressive it almost makes Immortal's ruthless masterpiece _Pure Holocaust_ sound like atmospheric black metal... The elements that concretely make the monstrously hostile deity _Panzer Division Marduk_ sound that much more aggressive than the Swedes' two latest efforts, namely _Heaven Shall Burn..._ and _Nightwing_, is that the powerful rhythm section lead by Fredrik Andersson and B. War does indeed move with greater velocity than it developed on _Heaven Shall Burn..._, but the greatest impression of speed is undoubtedly due to Morgan Hakansson's faster and more aggressive guitar lines, and the way in which Legion once again screams his baleful, unearthly grating vocals over the strings' saturated sound. Marduk's appointed guru producer Peter Tagtgren has once again graced this maelstrom of aggression with a very fitting sound that rings loud, sharp and powerful, and that greatly enhances the thick aura of malevolence and brutality emanating from _Panzer Division Marduk_. After worrying many fans with their rather mitigated 1997 album _Nightwing_, Marduk have this time again demonstrated that they are still, and beyond all doubt, the "fist in the face of God" Legion has claimed they are -- _Panzer Division Marduk_ is an outrageously warlike and totally unsubtle slab of pure hate, and an intense and very murderous new chapter in Marduk's blasphemous career. As Immortal so justly phrased it, "only the music of the truly dedicated will survive", and Marduk have once again clearly shown, if there ever was a need for this, that their charred, evil mark will undoubtedly remain seared deep into the poseur black metal scene's hide.

(article published 12/8/1999)

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