Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Naglfar - Téras

Naglfar are a Swedish group in the melodic black/death metal vein, and they have been around since the early 90s. Just last month they released their first new album in five years, Téras. Since Naglfar was one of the first extreme metal bands I got into back when I was finding my own musical niche, I was excited to hear what this new record had to offer.

With this return, Naglfar have taken on a slightly different tone than on some of their previous work. The core sound is still them, with hoarsely venomous vocals, pummeling black metal drums, and sharp thrashy riffs. The overall product, however, has stepped back a bit in terms of straight out aggression.The tempo changes enough to keep things interesting, but it has slowed a bit in general, frequently settling into a solid mid-paced range. The sound is more melodic as well, drawing more heavily on the early Gothenburg acts than their previous albums did. There are also more atmospheric elements than on their other albums. The effect is that this feels less violent than previous records, but it's more dramatic and epic as well. At times, like during the grand closing track "Dying Flame of Existence", this feels almost as much like a Viking metal record as a melodic black metal or death metal album.

None of this is to say that hostility and aggression have been totally leached from the music. Several tracks still feature fast, biting sections. This is particularly true early in the album where the faster, shorter tracks reside. The record does slow down as it progresses, but it does so in a natural enough way that it feels more like an epic unfolding than like a loss of steam. I do enjoy the general sound that results from this shift, though it does lack the punch of some of their earlier efforts.

All in all, I enjoyed this album. It didn't blow my mind, but it kept me entertained. If you've liked Naglfar records in the past, then fear not; this was a respectable return for the band. On a side note, I can't help wondering if the Monty Python reference in my selected song's title was intentional.

Grade: B
This is a good, solid melodic black/death metal release.

1 comment:

  1. I've never listened to them before, and it doesn't sound like this would be the place to start.