Naglfar - _Harvest_
(Century Media, 2007)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (
As much as I like Naglfar's first two albums, I found the next two releases -- after their prolonged hiatus away from the music arena -- to be a completely uninspired bore. Half-heartedly picking up _Harvest_ and expecting absolutely nothing of it, I was very surprised to find out that it is a damn good album and miles ahead of the previous two.The band seems to have added some soul back into their songs. The melancholic but still bloody heavy riff halfway through "The Way of the Rope" harkens back to everything I liked from this band's early releases, now taken to its logical progression. "The Mirrors of My Soul" builds up carefully into a devastating refrain that sounds ever so black metal, old and new twisted together in a spiral of violence, reminding me a bit of Code's _Nouveau Gloaming_ in their guitar parts. "Odium Generis Humani" is just pure mayhem.The album does bog down a bit with certain tracks not being as fun as the killer songs in this collective, but nothing that hurts the overall quality of _Harvest_ too much. I am truly glad to see them inspired again and having some fun -- if you want to call it that -- with their songs. Production is top notch and you can hear every single detail, from blast beats to bass licking. Some keyboards appear now and then just for added effect, and the piano/keys intro in "Feeding Moloch" is great. The album winds down with the seven minute epic "Harvest", which is more melodic and slower than the rest of the songs.All in all nothing spectacular, but _Harvest_ is a very well made album, sometimes taking me back to the mid-Nineties, when Naglfar, In Flames and Dark Tranquillity were still taking their formative, uncertain but ever so inspiring first steps. Especially after _Pariah_, this sounds like pure, unadulterated, blackened heaven.
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