Review Summary: "Your flesh is now ours, DEATH IS UPON YOU!"
Swedish melodic black metal band Naglfar, not to be confused with German progressive black metallers Nagelfar, were formed in 1992. Now when hearing about Swedish melodic black metal bands from the second wave of black metal era, most people will probably think about legendary bands like Dissection and their album Storm of the Light's Bane
, or possibly even think of fellow countrymen Sacramentum and their album Far Away from the Sun
. Point is, very few people will think about Naglfar as one of those bands. Well this band definitely deserves some attention too. Drawing many similiarites to their Swedish counterparts, Naglfar is a band that could probably help some people get into the genre of black metal. Let's face it, you're much more likely to enjoy an album with relatively clear production than an album that sounds like it was recorded in a forest (Nattens Madrigal
), at least until you've had experience with the genre. Well Naglfar's fourth full-length album, Pariah
, could very well be an album to help you gain some experience.
Like I mentioned earlier, Naglfar has many similarities to bands like Dissection and Sacramentum. One noticeable similarity is their ability to compose very melodic and ice cold riffs. I don't know what it is about these Swedish bands, but they always come up with some pretty catchy riffs that will stay in your head a lot of the time and that's what the guitarists, Andreas and Vargher, do on Pariah
. Fast tremolo picking is displayed throughout the album and gives the album a very cold atmosphere, like something you would hear on an album like Storm of the Light's Bane
. The drummer, Mattias, also has a pretty stellar performance on this album. What you should expect in the drum department is a whole lot of blast beats and an aural assault on your eardrums. This guy pounds the *** out of those drums and doesn't really give up for 40 minutes. That's one thing you'll notice about Naglfar, they just really never let up. You don't get any breaks, they're just coming at you non-stop with brutal, yet extremely melodic black metal.
One of the founding members of the band, Kristoffer "Wrath" Olivius, handles the vocal duties. This is his first album as the bands vocalist, he was the bass player on all previous albums, but took over vocals after longtime vocalist Jens Ryden left the band. Well if you've heard previous Naglfar albums and you're skeptical to check this out because of the change of frontmen, let me just say, don't be afraid. Wrath is just as good, if not better than Jens. You can hear the hatred coming out of this man's voice with every single word he spits out of his mouth. His voice is not really that high-pitched or low-pitched, it's kind of in the middle. He sounds a whole lot like Jon from Dissection, his voice is just a tad bit higher than that. Most people will find that to be a good thing, considering Jon was one of the best vocalists black metal has ever seen.
Like I mentioned, if you want to get into the genre of black metal, you couldn't go wrong with checking out this album, or really anything from this band. They're rather accsessible in the black metal world and also a very quality band. While this album can't really compare to some of the classics in the world of melodic black metal, it's still a very enjoyable listen. While being very melodic, it's also has some intensity of death metal so blackened death metal fans could also find something to like in this album. If you enjoy the more brutal black metal bands, such as Marduk or Grand Belial's Key, you'll most likely enjoy this album as well.