Released: 2007, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The sinister Swedish dark maestros Naglfar´s 5th full-length album, HARVEST, kind of came to me suddenly, like a vicious pitch-black raven out from a crystal-clear sky without a fair warming, after for my blue eyes. Hell... I even didn´t know they had a new album coming out, but here I am anyway, listening to a promotional CD from these Swedish blackened harvesters of innocent souls.
Naglfar´s previous album, PARIAH that released through the band´s current label Century Media Records nearly 2 years ago in mid 2005, overall gathered overwhelming and very flattering reviews from all around the world, and the fans seemed to accept Kristoffer Olivius with a storm of applauses as the band´s new vocalist, who tortured his 4-stringer in Naglfar earlier - to replace the band´s previous charismatic ex-frontman and venom spitter Jens Rydén due to his move to Stockholm.
Naglfar have always managed to surprise its listeners by their modern Black Metal that admittedly appeals especially the fans of Dark Funeral and Dimmu Borgir most simply due to many musical similarities that can be spotted out from the songs of these Swedish masters of the black arts. I guess not even the musicians of Naglfar deny all of those familiar references to either Dark Funeral´s or Dimmu´s direction nowadays as they are undoubtedly there, sticking out of the band´s music. Simple as that.
On HARVEST Naglfar keeps on, (eh!) ´harvesting´ basically the same musically strong elements what made their previous album such a highly appreciated and loved album amongst the modern Black/Death Metal -fans on this dying globe. The songs have an incredibly amount of top-notch dynamics, creeping and spine-chilling atmospheres, deranged and twisted rage - and pure, energetic passion that are surely some of those few reasons why Naglfar have rightfully earned their own place in the elite of today´s Black Metal genre, for becoming musically what they are these days (nothing wrong with the band´s classic, more melodic-orientated VITTRA -era either...). These fellows´ veins are full of creative, black and venomous blood - and they don´t hesitate a second to spit it around on the holy ground to show their true faces of evil to people. They come, slave and murder ruthlessly with their new, passionate satanic verses off which such hateful tunes of death as “Into the Black”, “Breathe Through Me”, “The Mirrors of My Soul” and “Way of the Rope” are probably those iron-branded ones that make weak souls to cut their wrists most due to sheer musical genius and magical brilliance of them, longing for an eternal rest in the darkside... or whatever! You should get a picture anyway.
Whether HARVEST could be considered the band´s best and most advanced album of their whole career to this very date, it is really up to listeners to decide, I think. For me it´s definitely amongst one of them there, being one of their finest and most carefully thought-out albums they have managed to record during their respectable lifespan. Naglfar can do no wrong - not on HARVEST either. Masterpiece...?! Yes, it is.