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Nagelfar - Virus West - 2006 - Van

Track Listing:
1. Hellebarn
2. Sturm der Katharsis
3. Hetzjagd in Palästina
4. Westwall
5. Fäden des Schicksals
6. Protokoll einer Folter
7. Meuterei
Although Nagelfar’s ‘Virus West’ has become a relatively well-recognized name since its 2001 release, its listening audience has remained fairly small, and most who read the band’s name are still likely to chalk it up as a misspelling of Naglfar. However, with the past years’ success of Nagelfar-alumnus Alexander Von Meilenwald (in his solo project, The Ruins of Beverast), ‘Virus West’ has been reissued and may finally gain the widespread appreciation it deserves.

As such, many fans likely are coming back to Nagelfar by way of The Ruins of Beverast, which will yield mixed results. Experience with The Ruins will make it easier to appreciate the expansive and oppressive composition of ‘Virus West’, but may also inspire some preconceptions that are bound to be unfulfilled. Although most of The Ruins’s traits can be traced directly back to Nagelfar, the two are still dissimilar in a number of ways. Where The Ruins are a tumultuous ride—on ‘Unlock the Shrine’ almost like a macabre carnival—Nagelfar is relentlessly dour. ‘Virus West’ does feature many changes in tempo and texture, but it still drives towards a direct conclusion, unlike the nebulous atmosphere of The Ruins, and few catchy leads emerge to define the album and easily capture its character.

Still, ‘Virus West’ is still one of the more original black metal albums of the early 2000’s and has much to appreciate. Although Nagelfar’s brand of innovation is generally more subtle than the avant-garde experimentation in today’s scene, it is no less distinctive. Long cited as one of the few rivals to old Norway, Germany’s noted black metal scene is fully encapsulated on ‘Virus West’, thorny and strangely alluring.

Much of ‘Virus West’ is comprised of familiar elements—blasting drums, tremolo guitars, patent black metal vocal—while a smattering of refined keyboards complete the atmosphere, either haunting or mockingly majestic. And the use of those elements, though familiar, never sounds staid or too repetitive, despite the many long song lengths. ‘Virus West’, much like The Ruins’s albums would in later years, takes those familiar elements and channels through them an epic, droning gloom. While that description may at first sound like a surplus of adjectives, the result it describes is as

For fans of black metal from The Ruins of Beverast to Endstille to Leviathan and the purely inexplicable beyond, ‘Virus West’ remains compelling. ‘Virus West’ arrived at time when many bands of the 90’s black metal explosion were stagnating and the new wave of progress was far from mature. Heralding the age to come, Nagelfar had the uncanny ability to combine the pertinent elements of both eras on ‘Virus West’, and the result is as relevant and remarkable today as it was then.



Rating: 4



--Etiam
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: NAGELFAR
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Virus WestNagelfar
2006
Etiam10/19/2007


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