Naglfar

Picture of Naglfar

Diabolical

Naglfar - Diabolical ©1998 Regain Records
1. Horncrowned Majesty
2. Embracing The Apocalypse
3. 12th Rising
4. Into The Golden Void Of Eternity
5. The Brimstone Gate
6. Blades
7. When Autumn Storms Come
8. A Departure In Solitude
9. Diabolical--The Devil's Child

Naglfar has had a bit of a rough journey in their quest to provide Dissection-esque blackened thrash. From their initial inking to the doomed Wrong Again Records to long gaps between releases, Naglfar has essentially become marginalized in a scene that has contracted and expanded quite a bit since their 1995 debut, Vittra. However, their CDs are slowly beginning to see the light of day again. Diabolical, originally licensed from Wrong Again by Relapse, is seeing another reissue courtesy of Regain Records. As a result, the curious will have another chance to check out one of the better secondary bands of the scene.

Naglfar's music relies primarily on treble-oriented riffs and an onrush of speed. Fortunately, Naglfar doesn't fall into the Marduk trap of losing every last shred of dynamics by trying to play too fast and throw too much muck into the mix. Instead, the songs, though not exactly the best produced in the world, have some clarity and one can actually tell the difference from song to song. Like Dissection, Naglfar has roots in the older thrash scene, but very much updated with black metal thinking. Melodies are subtle but hide beneath the onslaught of speed like a cheetah waiting for its young antelope prey.

While Diabolical is not quite as impressive as the band's debut, it's still a worthy follow up and a quite decent record all around. Out of all the CDs that are finally being repressed and put back into circulation, Diabolical is definitely one to recommend.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2004

Back to top 

Ex Infernis EP

Naglfar - Ex Infernis EP ©2001 War/Century Media
1. Of Gorgons Spawned Through Witchcraft
2. Dawn Of Eternity
3. Emerging From Her Weepings
4. When Autumn Storms Come
5. The Brimstone Gate

So after a couple warmly received releases, Naglfar has been suspiciously quiet for the past three years. Apparently in the lapse of time between now and 1998's Diabolical, Naglfar has seen the typical lineup shifting and have only recently even attempted recording some new material. The result is Ex Infernis, which actually only features two new songs, one cover of a Massacre tune, and a couple tracks taken from an older seven inch record. The two new songs feature new guitarist Marcus Norman, who has previously played in Bewitched, and both songs remain true to the Naglfar style. This five song EP runs rather long at nearly a half hour and has a very solid flow, considering the tracks are taken from various sessions over the years. Naglfar's style is not terribly far removed from Dissection's blend of thrash, death and black metal influences, relying often on rampaging blast beats and fluid, careening guitar riffs. The band has the ability to retain a subliminally melodic undertone at all times, giving their music a memorable feel.

With any luck, this EP is nothing more than a prelude for a full length record. Naglfar may not be recognized as a genre leader, but their ability and seamless blackened metal attack makes them worth picking up when one comes across any of their discs. Ex Infernis is a very enjoyable EP that should whet appetites for new material.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2001

Back to top 

Sheol

©2003 Century Media
1. I Am Vengeance
2. Black God Aftermath
3. Wratch of the Fallen
4. Abysmal Descent
5. Devoured By Naglfar
6. Of Gorgons Spawned Through Witchcraft
7. Unleash Hell
8. Force Of Pandemonium
9. The Infernal Ceremony

Although Naglfar had a somewhat promising debut record with Vittra back in the halcyon days of Scandanavian black metal, they ultimately failed to really deliver on that potential. By 2003, their sporadic output and general inability to stand apart from a very crowded scene resulted in a record that has not stood up so well with the test of time. It was fairly irrelevant upon its original release and less than a decade later it's just another platter of unoriginal, uninspiring music that Century Media enjoyed churning out. Naglfar's sound was that commonplace mixture of black metal with Swedish melodic death metal tendencies, but without some of the great sense of melody that their peers had. Instead, the band settled for rifforama, a vocalist who rasped a single note, and formula ridden music. The band really did want to be threatening, but their frowny faces on the back cover don't exactly make them look as menacing as they wished to be. In fact, upon listening to this record, I suspect their frowns came from the CD release party where they discovered that they just made an utterly generic record.

There are obviously worse records than Sheol, but it was records such as this that made listening to new metal back in 2003 and 2004 quite the chore. To really excel in a crowded genre, one must strive to stand out in some way and Naglfar fails to do so in every possible way.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2011

Back to top