Naglfar is a melodic black metal band from, where else, Scandinavia. Sweden to be exact. Naglfar follows where Dissection left off and do a pretty damn good job. They are black metal but have a few death metal tendencies. The guitars are often more crunching as they would be in death metal and the vocals sit right in between black screams and death growls. There is lots of atmosphere too. Instead of the Pirate’s 3 parts death and a-one part black it’s 3 parts black and one part death. Maybe more like 5 parts black and 1 part death.
I’ll also add the EP versions of Brimstone Gate and When Autumn Storms Come. They were available on the Japanese Import, which I don’t have, but I do have the tracks. I’ll just group them in with the normal review but specify when I talk about them.
The album and Horn Crowned Majesty
begins with a train whistle which is very cool. Then, the music. This is a very cool beginning. It’s got that raw super aggressive black metal feel but with decent production. Ironically, with 1349 and Darkthrone where the production is generally bad, the drums are pretty good. Especially the bass and snare drums. Here it is the opposite. The drums are just a little too quiet and it takes away from the power. Fortunately, the tremolo picked riffs are very cool and come through very well. Jens is an excellent singer. There is a semi break in the middle with some nice riffs before the song re-explodes. The trouble is, there isn’t a big difference between the most aggressive parts and the rest making the album seem kind of static. I really like dramatic dynamics though so it probably won’t bother most people. This song and Embracing the Apocalypse
flow together very well. It’s mostly though that there is no pause and so the onslaught continues. One place where I really like the lack of dynamic change. There are some nice chord progressions here that I really like. One nice part about the quiet bass drum is that during the black metal blast sections, you can hear more than just bass drum madness. Feedback ends the song.
begins with no hesitance. It explodes in with some nice riffing and seems like this song could easily pass as an instrumental. It almost is because the lyrics are impossible to understand and the vocals are a bit low in the mix. This is a great song. So far though, if you’re listening along, you’ll notice that each song has sounded about the same. If you don’t like how it sounds, don’t stop now. For the first half of the album they stuck with a formula and you either like it or you don’t. I think they did a pretty good job but it does get old. Each song is good but 9 of them in a row would get a bit repetitive. Into the Cold Voids of Eternity
does have a nice synth voices section that adds some nice atmosphere and a little piano and strings bit. Despite this good song, we get luck and the sound changes.
is a great song both the original and the import EP. It is a beautiful change from the formula of the first 4 tracks and the next 3 (except for the When Autumn Storms Come import which is great). There is a cool bass part that opens the song and is very audible throughout the entire song. It has that gallopy feel that I associate with Pirate Metal. The vocals on this track are great. There is a little bit of delay and distortion on them and that makes them even better that they already are. The drums sound good too because there is a lot of tom and those were mixed in very well. There are also some synth voices in the background. The worst part of the song is that there is a fade-out. Oh well.
is lame. It has a sample of a knife cutting something. There are people in the background making tortured screams. That ruins the excellent mellowed section. This song is actually really good musically but it is just so lame. It ends with a black metal gurgle that is not lame.
When Autumn Storms Come
is a good song. The import is a great song. It begins with an atmospheric build with the title being mumbled slowly in the background. It has a semi gallop feel to it which you already know I think is cool. The end of the EP version really makes the song though. It fades away with a mellow black metal atmosphere section than is absolutely killer. There are synths and chimes and wind noises and funny boingy swamp noises and yes, strings. The best part is, this version leads into A Departure in Solitude
which is an instrumental piano piece. This song makes this album great. The first half of the album was mediocre. The second half, is awesome. Did I mention this song has strings? And that is flows into the last track, Diabolical The Devil’s Child
on a ringing note? Well it does. The drumming on this track really stands out. There is traditional black metal drumming but also some great tom fills and parts that are truly original. There are key changes too. There is a halftime section. There is also a strange section when all the music fades out but the vocals keep their volume and you can really hear the delay. It sounds really cool. Then, after a bit of silence, there is a strange pulsing sound that reminds me of Tool until the medieval drums come in and a monologue is spoken in a deep voice over it with strings. Awesome, awesome song.
This album is very split. It is pretty much the same for the first half and it’s fine, but not great. The second half is really awesome.
Into The Cold Voids of Eternity
Diabolical The Devil’s Child