Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 7/12/2005
posted on 7/2005 By:
With the critical eye of every bloodthirsty Dissection devotee fixed steadily within its plane, supposed clone Naglfar invites you to feast upon another slab of melodic black metal courtesy of its fourth full-length, Pariah. Those not familiar with the group, which has been 13 years in the making, would find themselves swarmed with comparisons to the aforementioned Swedish legends, but what’s the point in denigrating a group simply because its style is similar to a band that hasn’t released a full-length album of new material in over a decade? If you had tried telling the Los Angeles Lakers roster of 2000 that it didn’t matter that they had won the NBA Championship because a previous Lakers squad had won just over a decade ago, do you think they would have cared?
Neither relentless nor completely melodic, Naglfar nurtures a sound carried both by blastbeats and slower, calculated riffs. In other words, for better or worse, Pariah will only help to solidify the Dissection comparisons. Sixth track “None Shall be Spared” serves as a perfect example. Blastbeats create an epic black metal atmosphere while the more restrained guitar riffs, provided by Andreas Nilsson and Marcus E. Norman, veer in a more melodic-death-like territory. What Naglfar demonstrates best is the capability for an unquestionable beauty in ferocity. Even the inflections in new vocalist Wrath’s voice hint at a more subtle dedication to melody. While the tone of his voice remains firmly planted in the black metal tradition, Wrath, like his guitarist counterparts, rides the insane wave produced by drummer Mattias Grahn.
When the group decides to give Grahn a break, most clearly demonstrated on “The Murder Manifesto,” the guitar work of Nilsson and Norman shines brightest. The sound here is most akin to a folk-stripped Windir, and provides the most enticing four minutes of this thirty-nine minute album. Wrath spews hatred while the rest of his bandmates offer an anthemic melody for his ultimate sacrifice. Listening to this track gives me the impression that Naglfar plays best when it a) finds two or three riffs from which to base a song and b) gives Grahn room for experimentation. I would like to see Naglfar follow this formula more strictly on its next album, because even if the Dissection comparisons would fail to cease, its ability to record a more balanced and skip-free album would improve drastically, as some tracks on here are merely serviceable, such as the been there, done that feel of the draining “Revelations Carved in Flesh.”
If you were disappointed by the new single of the reformed Dissection and fear its next full-length is headed in rehashed Gothenburg territory, Pariah was birthed from evil for scum buckets like you. You will know what to expect; relentless blastbeats, black metal screeches, death metal riffs, and enough melody to keep it from falling in either category. Sticking with its guns, Naglfar has recorded another solid piece of stubbornly inexorable and dedicated melodic black death metal.
Register to post comments.