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Naglfar: Harvest

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.

Track Listing
Disc: 1
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
9. Harvest
Disc: 2
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]

Added: May 6th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Naglfar Website
Hits: 4484
Language: english

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Naglfar: Harvest
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-06 10:57:52
My Score:

Nagalfar's fifth release Harvest is a remarkably potent effort which sees the band continuing their lethal black metal assault on the masses. The band has refined their sound somewhat over the past few years yet they haven't lost any of their trademark ferocity or anger as vocalist Kristoffer Olivius spews out bucketfuls of seething venom at every possible opportunity. The dual guitar onslaught of Andreas Nilsson and Marcus Norman is really something to behold as not only do they succeed in delivering some of the fastest metal riffs in the business but their tasteful and melodic solo's, which are featured prominently throughout this disc, takes the music to a higher or in this case a lower plane. The band goes on the offensive right off the bat on the first number "Into The Black", which is a good old school metal mugging of the highest caliber, and from there they never relent or deviate from their attack one iota save for a few quiet passages or the odd smattering of keyboards on some tracks. The level of technical complexity in the music itself is something alone that should set Nagalfar apart from their contemporaries, not to mention the brilliant sense of melody and harmonics in the playing of Nillson and Norman. The epic title track with its atmospheric keyboards, meaty bass lines courtesy of newcomer Morgan Lie and fabulous melodic soloing is almost worth the price of admission alone. 5 albums into their career Nagalfar have consistently proven they're more than capable of upping the ante with each new release and Harvest has taken things to a new level. Pick this one up and hang on for the ride.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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