Sweden's black metal merchants Naglfar have been around now for over a decade, and they keep steadily churning out quality extreme metal year in and year out. Their latest release Harvest sees them upping the ante just a bit, easing up on the symphonic factor that popped up quite a bit on their previous release Pariah, instead relying more in thunderous, tremelo picked guitar riffing, intricate rhythms, and the ever present black metal shrieks of Kristoffer Olivius.
While stylistically the music of Naglfar has some similarities to bands like Immortal and Emperor, there's an underlying element of thrash, as well as death metal, below the scorching black metal frenzy that the band spews forth. This music drips with savagery and hatred, especially on songs like "Odium Generis Humanis" and "Breathe Through Me", where Olivius' screams and screeching reaches danger zone levels, and the guitar riffs and drum blasts are off the charts. While there are occasional synth and piano touches, the melodic parts of more often created by the guitar work of Marcus Norman and Andreas Nilsson, both who do a superb job throughout this album. Lyrically speaking, this is pretty dark, lurid, and demented stuff, but a fascinating read while the music pummels you senseless. Old school black metal fans will love "Darkest Road", a rampaging beast that features Immortal styled guitar riffs & blast beats, and truly lethal vocals from Olivius. The last two songs on the CD though are perhaps the most interesting, as the band have created a sort of "progressive black metal" feel here-the textured "Feeding Moloch" and the epic title track. The former has some symphonic guitar riffs and blazing drum work from Mattias Grahn, as well as a splattering of keyboards, while the title track kicks off with some slippery bass grooves from Morgan Lie and spooky keyboard effects, giving way to melodic and driving guitar riffs. Olivius then delivers a deliciously vile vocal that sounds like the perfect mix of Ihsahn and Angela Gossow, just commanding and drenched in evil. The dual guitar work on this piece is extremely melodic, and overall the song is catchy as hell despite its heavy and extreme nature.
Harvest is a solid black metal statement from a veteran band who keep pumping out the winners. Perhaps stronger than Pariah and right up there with Sheol, Harvest is truly a triumph for Naglfar, a band that should be seen and acknowledged as one of the leaders of the modern black metal scene.
The release comes with a bonus DVD contianing some live clips , videos, and an interview, all of which are a must see for Naglfar fans.
1. Into the Black
2. Breathe Through Me
3. Mirrors of My Soul
4. Odium Generis Humani
5. Darkest Road
6. Way of the Rope
7. Plutonium Reveries
8. Feeding Moloch
1. Spoken Words of Vemon [DVD][Live]
2. Perpetual Horros [DVD][Live]
3. Carnal Scorn & Spiritual Malice [DVD][Live]
4. Swarm of Plagues [DVD][Live]
5. Perpetual Horrors [DVD]
6. Interview with Kristoffer Olivius [DVD]