Marduk - Panzer Division Marduk
Osmose Productions
Black Metal
8 songs (30:02)
Release year: 1999
Marduk, Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

With a new album on the way from what are possibly the best-known purveyors of Swedish Black Metal, the time is right to take a look back at their most controversial album. “Norsecore” isn’t quite the deadly insult it was a couple of years ago, but most agree that its single-minded blasting has its roots from this effort from Marduk, their sixth album and their shortest at barely over half an hour long. It starts with a manic voice screaming orders to fire upon the enemy, and that metaphor’s the only one necessary; Marduk are in the tank, and the cannon is pointed straight at you, the listener. Almost ceaseless blasting, razor-edged riffing and the napalm-coated rasping of Erik “Legion” Hagstedt make for a raging torrent of fury that isn’t anywhere near as bad as its detractors would have you believe.

Yes, this is indeed a review in defence of Panzer Division Marduk! Whilst the songs may be repetitive and the influence on the Black Metal world negative, at the time and when viewed in its own merits, the album is about as close to a classic of the genre as you can get. Fervently one-track-minded, the album takes the subject matter and makes a sonic weapon from it, the blasting intense rather than repetitive, the vocals fitting the raging War Metal perfectly. I’ve never understood people claiming that the production on this album is poor; it’s wonderful, highlighting the extremity of the music! The guitars sound excellent and are clearly audible under the drums, and yes, there is more than one riff being played, another nonsense criticism. What little can be heard of the bass follows the speedy assault of the other instruments (aside from some strangely atmospheric meandering on 502, which most certainly isn’t a Megadeth cover!) yet there are short, slower moments in-between the chaos, there are even subtle rolls and other little frills in the drumming, Fredrik Andersson turning in a great performance.

Where the album does suffer is if you listen casually. It does not have the right effect unless you’re on headphones and concentrating fully – most of the time this is far too fast to headbang to, and although those that dub this ‘black-grindcore’ are part right, it lacks the punk factor. This is single-minded in its destructive path, and from the moment that the aforementioned cries of ‘fire!’ start to the orgy of destruction that ends Fistfucking God’s Planet, this is a tank battle that ends as chaotically and powerfully as it begins. Yes, it probably should have been an EP rather than an album, but as a statement of blistering, powerful war on all life, Panzer Division Marduk is without parallel. Every Black Metaller should listen to it at least once, if only to declare his hatred.

Killing Songs :
Panzer Division Marduk, Christraping Black Metal, Scorched Earth, Beast Of Prey, 502
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Marduk that we have reviewed:
Marduk - Viktoria reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Marduk - Frontschwein reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Marduk - Serpent Sermon reviewed by Tony and quoted 88 / 100
Marduk - Those of the Unlight reviewed by Tony and quoted 89 / 100
Marduk - Nightwing reviewed by Tony and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 15 reviews click here
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