Swedish black metal outfit Marduk do everything right with their brand new record, “Frontschwein” until vocalist Daniel “Mortuus” Rostén opens his mouth (which happens fairly early in the record, unfortunately). We last heard from Marduk in 2012, when they dropped “Serpent Sermon,” a fairly progressive record for a band considered to be black metal. “Frontschwein” finds the regularly blasphemous band critically analyzing death, war and the chaotic interplay of the two — give track number three, “Afrika” a listen... are they talking about the fallacious nature of early imperialism in Africa? “Desert Fox versus Desert Rats,” cries Mortuus, possibly juxtaposing the indigenous people with the religious land-scavengers. Nothing is really solid about Frontschwein, and that sucks balls
since this band has been around since the early 90’s, making some of the more widely respected black metal. To me, this has way too many regurgitated metal chord progressions and less-than-good-more-than-bad lyrical content. Mortuus is starting to sound kind of weak, and that’s okay because after 11 years of recording and touring with Marduk, his testicles must be ready to squeeze right through his vocal chords. It doesn’t sound like his technique has changed or is going to. “Frontschwein”
is passive for a metal record, and it sounds like they might have recorded Rostén’s vocals in someone’s bathroom before layering them purposefully behind the rest of the music. This serves as a solid performance by the instrumentalists, but the writing is lacking, and for that I award “Frontschwein” with a 3/5.