“Panzer Division Marduk” by Marduk

Artist: Marduk
Title: “Panzer Division Marduk” (remaster)
Label: Regain Records
Release Date: 4/1/2008
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Often cited as perhaps the bands most seminal work, “Panzer Division Marduk” is a throttling and relentless example of “True Swedish Black Metal” that rarely slows its pace to give the listener a chance to breath. The release was the bands sixth album and unlike its predecessors keeps a continued pace and speed which do at times make it a little difficult to discern where one tune ends and another begins. I am not saying that their earlier work was any less intense, but based on those albums which I had heard there were more changes being offered the listener whereas this one just gives the listener a continual slap in the face. With Black Metal that is not always a bad thing but for someone like myself, I enjoy the periodic tempo and groove changes much more than some of my fellow listeners might. Pure aggression and purpose are par for the course with this kind of material and while Marduk excels at the format, I love when the bands change it up just a little to keep it interesting and better showcase their musicianship. This is angrier than hell stuff and not for the weak spirited listener by any means. It begins with the albums title track that sets you up for the lightning fast ride that is about to proceed and even though they are hitting the sixth recording with this originally released in 1999 album, they had not strayed far from their malicious intent in terms of the subject matter that they are addressing. Tracks like “Christraping Black Metal” and “Fistfucking God’s Planet” would be clear examples of this point. Favorites for me came with “Beast Of Prey” and the two bonus tracks that the remastered edition offers us “Deathride” and “Todeskessel Kurland”. Singer Legion sounds as if his very black soul is at stake for a good majority of the piece and while intense as hell on the drum kit; we don’t get a lot of experimentation from Fredrik Andersson who pretty much keeps it to blistering speed blast beats.

If you don’t have this one already then the remastered edition is the way to go because not only do you get and additional two audio tracks but you get a fan filmed video and a very comprehensive booklet with lots of art and lyrics inside of it. There are no real photos of the band per se which would have been nice but one cannot have everything. The book spans a massive 34 pages in the end and depicts very grim images of war and the toll that it takes. Not for the timid as we had mentioned earlier. The album from beginning to end is an attack on the senses and its major downside is in how fast it careens by you. I think the whole release spanned about thirty plus minutes when it came down to it. I recommend this album as a first go to release for those who seek a solid representation about what Marduk brings to the table and how important they are for the Black Metal genre as a whole. The band is currently active but with a number of different members from this recording.

Track Listing:
1. Panzer Division Marduk
2. Baptism By Fire
3. Christraping Black Metal
4. Scorched Earth
5. Beast Of Prey
6. Blooddawn
7. 502
8. Fistfucking God’s Planet
9. Deathride – bonus
10. Todeskessel Kurland – bonus
11. Panzer Division Marduk – bonus fan made clip

Official Website: http://www.marduk.nu

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