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Review: Nagelfar - Srontgorrth

Label: Kettenhund Records
Year released: 1999
Duration: 70:00
Tracks: 5
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: December 30, 2008
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating

Rated 4.24/5 (84.83%) (29 Votes)

For those unaware, Nagelfar are known for their brand of Epic Black Metal that breaks pretty much every tradition of the genre, but yet they can be described as nothing else, and still be amongst the very best that BM has to offer. Drummer Alexander von Meilenwald would later form The Ruins of Beverast, but the sound there is noticeably different from what one would find here. On their sophomore effort, this German quartet delivered something that has remained largely unmatched since.

In some ways, Srontgorrth is like Progressive Metal minus all the dildos - just pure rage and inhuman drumming amidst the sheer grandeur of the music. It is an extremely unusual album with ridiculous time changes and rhythm breaks. There are riffs on here that are used, abused and beautifully reused throughout the album in different songs. There are clean vocals used on several occasions. But despite all of that, Srontgorrth is simply a musical masterwork and the type of album that comes along only once in a while and blows your mind away. Particularly worth mentioning is the gigantic 16 minute onslaught of the second track. A song that will get you wondering just what kind of genius can come up with something so beastly and complex and yet make an incredible tune out of it. It is firmly rooted in what makes Black Metal good, but takes it further in every way possible. The entire album has a medieval feel to it, and it's haunting, moody and simply enthralling.

You cannot go wrong with either of the first two albums from this band. Srontgorrth is perhaps the better of the two, but only by a hair. If you haven't heard Nagelfar yet, you are in an enviable position, as the initiation to this band is the best part. It'll have its way with you and you're going to like it.

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