by Grumpy USER (27 Reviews)
August 21st, 2020 | 7 replies

Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Probably the strongest Nargaroth album.

Even though René Wagner's personality in the past raises certain questions about his...let's say, reliability - his output under Nargaroth is undoubtely noteworthy.

Many black metallers tend to ignore the albums before and after his infamous and highly divisive album, Black Metal ist Krieg because of the "mess" it created. However, I do believe that's a naive mistake, because missing out albums like Herbstleyd is quite a loss.

To corroborate this statement, let's investigate the album's strengths. The most obvious component is the album's atmosphere, which originates from the "standard" old-school aesthetics: numerous guitar layers, a few slower sections, additional samples and synths here and there... you know the drill. But, combining all these together is a bit of a tricky task though. Bands with such goals often tend to end up sounding as Burzum-wannabes - which might have been the case with Nargaroth as well (who knows?), since the overall sound shows clear similarities to early Burzum (especially to the self-titled) or Satyricon albums - but as the album goes on it manages to clarify originality. It can be observed in the first place an the album's overall "mood", which bears resemblance to early DSBM albums. For example the intro of 'Karmageddon' and in the middle of the song 'Des alten Kriegers Seelenruh' where the tempo drops and clean guitars step into the spotlight accompanied by slow croacking vocals - also something similar can be observed in the song 'Amarok - Zorn des Lammes' too. Compared to other black metal releases from the late '90s, Herbstleyd runs on a generally slower tempo, which in addition to generating a bit doom metal-ish impression, works really well at building up the atmosphere, plus leaves some place for experimentation.

But not every element worked out perfectly for this release. For example: even though samples can also help achieving the perfect atmosphere, using them more than necessary has a blunting effect on a the listening experience - so maybe, less could have been more. And that's the very same case with certain songs as well, because a 15 minutes long runtime is not entirely perfect for a song, despite the variety within.

Herbstleyd was an altogether rather impressive debut, and it is a generally enjoyable atmospheric black metal album as well.

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user ratings (54)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 21st 2020


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This needed a review. Title track is so great!

Digging: Deafheaven - 10 Years Gone

August 22nd 2020


Nice to see this finally got a review. I think I listened to at least part of this a few years ago, but I don't remember what it was like. I'll have to check it out again.

August 22nd 2020


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks! :] I also turned back to this one after years, and it really worth it to do so: it was much better than how I remembered!

Contributing Reviewer
August 22nd 2020


I don't think I've ever heard these guys.

Cool to see you diving into reviews garas.

Digging: Sodom - Genesis XIX

August 22nd 2020


how have you never heard of the BLACK METAL IST KRIEG guy? I am appalled.

August 23rd 2020


Album Rating: 4.0

Garas I agree with your assessment.

August 24th 2020


~~~it was much better than how I remembered~~~
Same, happens a lot to me, in general.
Also, never heard them ( adding it toget list )
Pos vote , nice review

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