Nargaroth - _Raluska Part I_
(No Colours, 2004)
by: Matthias Noll (5 out of 10)
Recorded during the same 2001 sessions as _Raluska Part II_ -- with Moonblood's Occulta Mors on drums, but Kanwulf's vocals added in March 2004 -- _Raluska Part I_ is technically not all too different from the second part, which was released back in 2002. The sound is identical, the mood and general direction of the material is the same, but the quality of the tunes isn't. Those who thought that _Geliebte des Regens_ was too slow and plodding might have reason to rejoice, because (out of three songs and an intro) _Raluska I_ features two fast tracks; but as a whole, it leaves the impression of by-the-numbers Nargoroth material.

After the "Trauermarsch" intro -- based on the traditional "Marche Funebre" theme, used by Candlemass on _Nightfall_ and there credited to an interpretation by Chopin -- the title track "Raluska" starts off the EP in decent fashion, although it's certainly no outstanding track -- and upon closer inspection just standard Nargaroth mid-tempo fare. (The "Marche Funebre" theme makes a return here, but is lousily integrated into the song itself.) Track three, "Where the Cranes Fly", is definitely the most interesting of the three actual songs -- utilising blazing speed and unusual, interesting chord progressions. The last track, "The Tears of a Man", does justice to its pathetic title, consisting of a lukewarm riff that sounds disconcertingly familiar if not worn-out, fast but absolutely monotonous and boring drumming and some totally unimaginative and repetitious rasping by Kanwulf.

This material might have gone down a lot better if both EPs had gotten released as a whole, with a track-list that cleverly mixed material from both, but as it is _Raluska Part I_ is sadly only worth the money for die-hard Nargaroth fans.

(article published 12/7/2004)

12/13/2003 M Noll 7 Nargaroth - Geliebte des Regens
3/13/2001 A Wee Nargaroth - Amarok
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