Nagelfar Virus West

Not to be confused with the Swedish Naglfar, the currently defunct German Nagelfar are being temporarily resurrected with the re-release of their third and final album courtesy of Van Records. Though widely acclaimed by both critics and black metal devotees alike, this album was easy to miss, considering the relatively underground status of Ars Metalli Records, as well as its timing. Markedly different from their previous efforts, they left out the bizarre keyboard interludes and focused entirely on a darker, more menacing atmosphere. The songs are incredibly epic, manipulating tension in distinct movements, undulating from speedy, blackened riffing to creeping, gloomy drone. The slower parts utilise deep, clearly sung vocals to highlight the funereal atmosphere, while the faster parts stick to the typical demon wailing that characterises the genre. While these parts transition comfortably, the overall songwriting is somewhat languid and the songs themselves tend to become tiring after several minutes. This isn’t to undermine the record’s merits, as it is a solid effort that surpasses most of its competitors. Fans of black metal that missed this the first time around definitely need to check out this forgotten gem. (Van)