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Naglfar
Pariah
July 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

While not a household name, unless someone is choking in the house, Naglfar have been consistent for far longer than most bands their age, and continue to be good in spite of countless trials that might have stricken lesser artists mediocre in a snap. They have survived successful lead guitar and vocalist transplants, weathered endless trends and fashions, and changed labels repeatedly. All the while, you can always count on getting something just as good as what you got when they rolled through last year.

This newest outing is no different, although it may not be the best they’ve ever done. It is, however, easily their heaviest and angriest record. Skipping past the juvenile intro and merely-proficient lead-off track, one gets to the true meat of the disc, wherein the vibe and tone of all that is to come is firmly, harshly, madly set. Both musically and lyrically, it quite jarringly stomps the listener into shock. This is far darker, dirtier fare than Naglfar have served up in the past. Mind you, the band has consistently gotten heavier with each successive record. And while the drifting Swedish melodies the band has become known for remain a steady feature, they are hardly in the forefront anymore. This is a Naglfar driven more by rage, blackened by hatred, and furious to condemn. The songs are pushed forward more by drums, and the hateful invectives of bassist-cum-vocalist Kristopher Olivius, than by the melody lines of yore. That melody is still certainly present, in tracks like “None Shall Be Spared” and “The Perpetual Horrors;” it’s simply used more sparingly on this.

Though not as pretty or melodic as their classic VITTRA disc, it’s still chillingly effective if one is in a hateful mood. If throat-slashing, cult-joining, self-mutilating. puppy-stomping, water tower shoot-out hymns like “Spoken Words Of Venom” and “The Murder Manifesto” fail to either move or sicken you, you clearly just aren’t listening. This is music to hurt people’s feelings to. It keys the car of Christ, and pisses in the gas tank of the Pope.

While not the band’s most vibrant hour, it remains, like all Naglfar releases, a good deal better in its weakest moment than many similar artists at their best. If you like your metal angry, there is no better place to start.



***
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

Lineup

Andreas Nilsson : Lead guitars
Marcus ``Vargher`` E. Norman : Rhythm guitars
Mattias Grahn : Drums
Kristoffer ``Wrath`` Olivius : Bass, vocals
Morgan Lie - Live Bass

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Next review: » Naglfar - Pariah
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Naglfar
Pariah
September 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: MetalGeorge

While many presumptuously proclaimed the demise of Swedish Black Metal Kings Naglfar upon discovering that longtime frontman Jens Ryden was departing the band to concentrate on schoolwork, the band’s latest effort PARIAH, should silence all doubters.



First off, props must be given to bassist Kristoffer Olivius for stepping up to the plate and delivering a fine performance, filled with passion, venom, and vitriol. While the charismatic presence and mindfucking delivery of Ryden is missed, Olivius holds his own, and seems to slip right into the vacated slot with relative ease.



Musically, PARIAH is classic Naglfar; much in the vein of their previous longplayer, SHEOL. It is fast and melodic Black Metal performed in the quintessential Swedish style, with tasteful guitar work and breakneck drumming. The only problem is that it is SO similar to SHEOL in delivery, the essential nature of this record comes into play.



While I myself have spun the hell out of this record, I can’t help but feeling that PARIAH is for Naglfar maniacs only, due to the fact that so little in the way of variation or progression has been displayed. It is business as usual, and business is good…but don’t go expecting PARIAH to reinvent the wheel, because it isn’t going to happen.



What you WILL receive, however, is a damn fine Black Metal album in a style which seems to be falling out of fashion these days. In the age of umpteen Darkthrone/Burzum clones (which-don’t get me wrong-I enjoy), it is refreshing to hear a band like this still kicking out the jams, and PARIAH is prime proof of the style at it’s best.
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 and Spiritual Malice

Lineup

Kristoffer Olivius-vocals/bass
Andreas Nilsson-guitar
Marcus Normann-guitars
Mattihas Grahn-drums


Next review: » Naglfar - PARIAH
Previous review: » Naglfar - PARIAH





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