Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Naglfar - Teras (CD Review)
03.III: Death Dimension Phantasma
05.An Extension Of His Arm And Will
06.Bring Out Your Dead
09.The Dying Flame Of Existence
Kristoffer Olivius (vocals)
Andreas Nilsson (Guitars)
Marcus E. Norman (Guitars/Bass/Keyboards)
Dirk Verbeuren (Drums)
A blizzard is brewing up in the far north of Sweden. This fierce storm has been eagerly awaited by Black Metal fans all over the world. It marks the triumphant return of NAGLFAR after several years of absence and it shall be known by the name of “Téras".
"We took a creative break", is the laconic comment of frontman Kristoffer Olivius on the question of his band's long absence from the studio since their fifth album "Harvest” was released in 2007 and adds: "We also took all the time it needed to record the most powerful album possible."
These are no empty words. NAGLFAR return with a vitriolic onslaught reminding the listener that the band from Umeå belongs to the pioneers and foremost protagonists of Sweden’s black scene.
Their sixth full-length remains true to the formula they helped to establish along legendary DISSECTION and that saw dedicated acts like WATAIN or FUNERAL MIST rising in their musical footsteps during recent years.
In contrast to their contemporaries like MARDUK or DARK FUNERAL, who were promoting the truly black Swedish sound, NAGLFAR combine the harsh bleakness of early Black Metal with the technical prowess and high-speed assault of Death Metal. Their debut "Vittra" (1995) soon became a classic of its genre and remains highly acclaimed to this day. Icy harmonies and epic melodies swirl like a swarm of angry hornets from the fingers of string wizards Andreas Nilsson and Marcus E. Norman. To this musical maelstrom Kristoffer W. Olivius adds his characteristic venomous vocals and misanthropic lyrics ever since founding member and first singer Jens Rydén departed for Stockholm in 2004. Kristoffer’s transfer from bass to microphone was a natural decision for the band since he had already proven his vocal merits with Black Metal extremists SETHERIAL.
Now NAGLFAR decided to reduce their line-up to a three piece by demanding full dedication and creative input from all their members. As a result the drums were recorded by a session musician this time. Yet the Swedes did not leave their heartbeat to just anyone, but enlisted the formidable aid of Dirk Verbeuren. The Belgian is best known for his work with SOILWORK and SCARVE, which makes this choice less obvious at first glance. "Dirk stood at the first place of our wish-list", remarks Kristoffer. "His style is ideally suited for our new songs as he has a wicked groove and a great personality as well."
The career of NAGLFAR has at no point been straightforward. They took nearly three years to release a follow-up of "Vittra". "Diabolical" (1998) put more emphasis on the Death Metal parts.
Despite a successful tour as co-headliner with Deicide the Swedes went into hibernation again. Four years later NAGLFAR returned with the MCD "Ex Inferis" (2002), which introduced Bewitched guitarist Marcus E. Norman to their line-up. In spring 2003 "Sheol" added a dose of Black Thrash and drew attention by its catchy riffing and return to darker sounds. This trend was continued by "Pariah" (2005), which recaptured more of NAGLFAR's early spirit and "Harvest" (2007) may be seen as taking the troupe from Umeå full circle with all their experience of later years added to the sound.
Never content with their achievements NAGLFAR now demonstrate clearly with "Téras" that their classic sound easily projects into the future. If it ever needed a reminder that these wolves from the North are amongst the elite of Swedish Black Metal, well here it is.
From its dark and doomy opening lulling you into this false sense of security that they have slowed down the second track and onwards its a total technical black metal onslaught of demonic vocals, immense riffs and high powered drumming that destroys all in ite blackend wake!!!!
But that wonderful doom sound returns for 'The Monolith' with a vengeance.
For Fans Of: Dark Funeral, Marduk, Dissection, Watain, Bathory