1. Into The Black 2. Breathe Through Me 3. The Mirrors Of My Soul 4. Odium Generis Humani 5. The Darkest Road 6. Way Of The Rope 7. Plutonium Reveries 8. Feeding Moloch 9. Harvest
Black Metal has grown into a well diversified and challenging sub-genre of Metal. At one end of the spectrum you have cult black metal that is influenced by 80's metal acts such as Celtic Frost, Venom, Hellhammer, and Bathory. The music is minimalist is song structure and is usually accompanied by cheap analog production and band seclusion from the rest of the world. At the other end of the spectrum is all other black metal. Some have a symphonic influence such as Dimmu Borgic, some have a death metal influence such as Destroyer 666 and Angel Corpse, and some have a progressive influence such as Enslaved and Keep of Kalessin. However, it is rare to find a band that can successfully mold all of the above influence into a single instance of black metal. Naglfar is one of those rare bands that can. Hailing from Sweden, Naglfar has just released their 5th full length epic called "Harvest".
Harvest, finds the band in extreme, top-notch form as they deliver a set of 9 ungodly hymns that comprises of masterfully crafted songs, containing all of the elements listed above, along with crystal clear production. One thing that is strikingly unique about Naglfar is the abilities of vocalist Kristoffer "Wrath" Olivius. Whether it is his standard black metal vokills, screams, or death metal influenced growls, Wrath manages to remain quite audible the whole album through. This adds to the listening pleasure of the album as the lyrical content can properly accompany the majestic offerings of the music. The music itself is a master class of black metal and death metal that blends technically potent riffs and precision drumming, giving an overall epic feeling of unholy betrayal. Although all the tracks on this CD stand out, my favorites include Odium Generis Humani and Feeding Moloch. These songs are ferocious, raw and have a very energetic vibe that enhances the scope of their songwriting ability.
Naglfar has proven once again what it is like to remain supreme in the underground black metal scene. One thing that sets Naglfar apart from the rest of the pack is their very infrequent use of keyboards. Instead, they rely heavily on guitar-laden riffs and superior song structure to create a brilliant atmosphere of chaos. Naglfar have come along way since 1995's Vittra, accelerating their skills and songwriting abilities with each release. I can easily see "Harvest" among many of the "Top Metal Albums of 2007" lists this year, as it will definitely be on mine!
About this Writer: David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.
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