Review Summary: Imagine this: take a huge portion of Finnish melodic riffing, a bit of Mayhem's early studio production, and mix it together with the Unholy Trinity's primitive essence. The result is Nachzehrer.
"Nachzehrer" is a specific type of vampire in the northern german folklore.
This album probably is the most overlooked one from the LPs - unjustly, in my opinion. The album's biggest strength is, as in every Satanic Warmaster record, the guitarwork. There is something magical about Finnish (black) metal bands and artists, because of their great sense in writing great riffs and songs, and this is the case about Werwolf as well. The guitars sound raw and loud, the little game with the guitar signals in the mix brings some certain excitement into the songs. The tone is a bit different from the previous (and the following) albums. The guitars sound a duller, with more low (and mid) frequencies in the mix, which results a plump and fuller sound with less edge - somewhat similar to the guitar tone in the infamous Mayhem studio recordings from 1990. As strength, I would like to highlight the album's absolute pinnacle, One Shining Star
, one of the best songs from the band's whole catalog. The straightforward, simple and melodic riffage is something which may stuck in someone's head for days. Nothing to complain about the other songs, for exampleWarmaster Returns
, Rotting Raven's Blood
also contains fantastic riffs too.
The rhythm section delivers the standard raw black metal quality: precise drumming, organic sound despite the really raw recording quality, granting the rhythmic spine of the songs. The tempo greatly differs on the album, changing mostly between mid tempo and fast blast beats. Nothing exceptional, a job well done. Sadly, the bass feels almost nonexistent in the whole album, deeply sunk in the mix.
The vocals are great markers of Werwolf's style, but nothing extraordinary - the standard black metal shrieks and cawings with evil lyrics: loud enough, but not dominant over the guitars.
Finally, let's talk about the synths a bit. Personally I appreciate a lot the additional synths in my black metal, and Nachzehrer really pleased me in this aspect. I'm not saying this makes this album atmospheric black metal, but some synth lines here and there may be very effective in building atmosphere. Like in Bestial Darkness
, the additional organ in the beginning adds a massively evil aura to the song, or in One Shining Star
the synth brings certain epicness. And my biggest weakness, the closer ambient track, Utug-Hul
shows Werwolf's impressive talent in writing beautiful synth music - which later provided huge inspiration for dungeon synth artist nowadays.
Alltogether, Nachzehrer is a really good black metal album, not any worse than the other releases in the band's discography, moreover songs like One Shining Star
might be considered as classics in the genre.