Released: 2005, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
It´s been 2 years since the Swedish blackish deathsters Naglfar released their excellent 3rd full-length album titled SHEOL through a small, now defunct Swedish label New Hawen Records - and it´s been a little less time since the band lost their long-time vocalist and founding member Jens Rydén due to some job-related issues. His position has been taken by the band´s bass player, Kristoffer W. Olivius, who has quite a bit of experience as a vocalist in his side band, Setherial.
In January 2005 this very maliciously sounding troop made their way to the Ballerina Studio (where they had recorded their previous two full-length albums, DIABOLICAL and SHEOL), spending nearly 3 months recording the band´s most shiny black diamond thus far known as PARIAH.
Eventually, the band sent the master CD to the headquarters of Century Media Records, I guess the rest could be considered sort of a piece of written history...
Here it is finally... a new 8-song effort from the Naglfar´s infamous camp and it could be said this album is their finest piece of work to date which hardly should come as a surprise to anyone if you just happened to like the musical direction these messengers of all an utter evil have slowly been adopting for themselves during the past years - and particularly on their previous albums; a more aggressive, more hateful, more lethal and darker-than-thou –direction. It could even be said that they have truly outdone themselves this time on PARIAH; they simply sound so appealing and captivating to me. I just can´t escape them...
When you are listening to the songs off this musically very violently and aggressively charged album, you are of course about to notice this ain´t anything new or revolutionary on the Earth that couldn´t have been created before. In fact, Naglfar tends to sound somewhat familiar most of the time through the eight songs they have recorded for PARIAH, but since every single piece of this massive, pitch-black wholeness clicks somewhat effortlessly into the hottest blackish pits of Hell - from Kristoffer´s fiendish and sultry vocal parts to some shamelessly catchy, haunting melodies to some piercing, razor-sharp guitar exploitation to a damn well-done production, etc. – we can safely talk about quite a winner album here. PARIAH is undoubtedly a very rewarding and riveting listening experience all in all, even for a demanding extreme metal fan.
Spinning the songs over and over again on PARIAH, you cannot help yourself by comparing them to such bands as Dissection, Dark Funeral, Emperor or Dimmu Borgir because, like I said earlier, Naglfar aren´t doing anything that strange or revolutionary with all their black ingredients they had got in their hands for making PARIAH. But damn, they truly were skilled enough to create the most effective havoc with these sinfully malicious and fantastically useful ingredients they have had available for the band´s absolutely strongest and most enjoyable album so far – and as a kind reminder for all of you , it was called PARIAH if you still remember? I think it´s not even that necessary to go much into some tiny, refined details of the songs on this new yet so truly brilliant Naglfar album simply because the whole album reeks of sheer talent, brilliance and an unyielding dedication. The Naglfar´s hellish foursome has still failed to record a bad album yet and PARIAH will bring them on another level of success, most probably.
´nuff said, I think.
The most venomously delicious bits: “A Swarm of Plagues”, “Spoken Words of Venom”, “The Murder Manifesto”, “Revelations Carved in Flesh”, “None Shall Be Spared”, “And the World Shall Be Your Grave”, “The Perpetual Horrors” and “”Carnal Scorn & Spiritual Malice”.