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Nagflar: Pariah

It's amazing how certain black metal bands can seemingly open up the gates of hell for the listener by simply popping one of their releases in a CD player. Sweden's Nagflar deliver the goods on their fourth full-length album Pariah, a blistering concoction of demonic vocals, aggressive guitar work, and manic rhythms. While nothing here breaks any new ground, there's plenty of juicy symphonic black metal to go around, like the catchy madness of "A Swarm of Plagues", the lethal "The Murder Manifesto", or the intricate intensity of "None Shall Be Spared". Guitarists Andreas Nilsson and Marcus Norman produce plenty of evil & complex riffs throughout the CD's nine tunes, and drummer Mattias Grahn plays like a man possessed with blazing bursts of double bass drum mayhem. Singer Kristoffer Olivius sounds like the male counterpart to Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow, his gargled screams adding the right amount of horrific intensity to a song like the orchestral metal piece "The Perpetual Horrors". Keyboards and plenty of melodic passages are what propel Pariah above the standard black metal fare, as there's a sense of class and professionalism here that is usually only associated with bands like Dimmu Borgir. Pariah bridges the gap between the bands earlier, more extreme work, and their more recent, and certainly more mature pieceSheol. I'm liking their development, and I think Pariah will go a long way in establishing Nagflar as serious players on the symphonic black metal scene.

Track Listing
1) Proclamation
2) A Swarm of Plagues
3) Spoken Words of Venom
4) The Murder Manifesto
5) Revelations Carved in Flesh
6) None Shall Be Spared
7) And the World Shall Be Your Grave
8) The Perpetual Horrors
9) Carnal Scorn & Spiritual Malice

Added: July 22nd 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Nagflar Website
Hits: 3704
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Nagflar: Pariah
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-07-22 07:53:44
My Score:

With Pariah blasting from my speakers I was convinced that Naglfar are capable of giving the critical Black Metal fan a worthy piece of music. This is a CD that any fan of the genre will appreciate. Production on it is top notice and clear. Every instrument cuts through the darkness of this disk like a shard of razor sharp glass. The songs are powerful in their subject matter and musically intelligent containing every required hook expected of a Black Metal band. As I listened I found a number of musical similarities to that of Norway's Dimmu Borgir with the exception of flourishing keyboard arrangements. This Swedish Quartet is most definitely a perfect companion band to those Dark Gods of Norway. In fact I stress that fans of Dimmu look into this disk primarily while we all wait for that bands next contribution. Pariah can sate the hunger for those that are longing for something along these lines in the interim.

I had some favorites from the CD and most specifically those are "A Swarm Of Plagues", "The Perpetual Horrors", and "None Shall Be Spared". Overall this is a heavy disk but shows a large amount of technical ability throughout. This is a factor that I am enjoying in the newer compositions of the Black & Death Metal groups. There is not just a consistent buzzing yet instead a skill that borderline on Progressive. I think we will see this as long as bands like Naglfar, Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir continue to raise the bar on their respective genres.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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