I've been waiting for a good release to swing by & re-purpose my playing in terms of aggression. There had been good releases along the way but those just trampled past, leaving dents but no real impressions. Then came Viktoria just last month (a few weeks ago, in fact). Marduk is an old school black metal outfit, if you're into the genre, you'd know them by now. For the last couple of releases or so, the materials had been singular in approach; lots of attack with the band's philosophy in mind, full stop. No real listener engagements, I'd say. They cam & they went, if you missed stuff, most likely, you didn't get it to begin with.
Viktoria maintained Marduk's signature aggression but there's a wee more focus this time & I simply like the production here. The title track- bass solo. I didn't see that coming & it made a difference, you see the song a little differently this way. Still on the bass, it's by far the clearest the band has to offer in terms of presence. There were overlapping phrases with the guitars & drums but they are there & they are significant. Drums- first class performance by Widigs & a clear one-up with respect to Frontsschwein. Also, this is how Mortuus' vocals should be captured; controlled reverb/ echo without being excessively panned out.
Finally, some guitar bits because this is a guitar blog to begin with 😎
Morgan Hakansson shared some gear background pertaining to Viktoria. He recently ditched his Ibanez 7-string in favour of familiarity & constant reference, the standard 6-string guitar. Also, hopes of seeing him in action with his Fender can be laid to rest because after more than 8 years in use, it's beyond stable & reliable.
He is currently sporting the ESP M-type camo guitar which he picked up before endorsement deals were penned down so this guy, he knows his gear.
Looking forward to more impactful releases like Viktoria, I know Immortal has something to offer very soon.