|Review: Nagelfar - Virus West|
Label: Van Records
Year released: 2000
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: December 4, 2006
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.65/5 (73.08%) (26 Votes)
This was the second (or third, it's unclear) and last disc from the German band Nagelfar, no, not the Swedish one, this one has an 'e' in it. And musically, the difference is a whole lot more than one letter. This is a re-pressing by the superlative Van label – who put out just about all the German Black Metal that's worth hearing. Virus West may have a weird name, it may be six years old, but it's still a masterwork.
Nagelfar featured the drumming talents of one Alexander Von Meilenwald, who would go on to create the unequalled Ruins Of Beverast, and in fact, you can hear a bit of that project's experimentalism in nascent form here. But overall Nagelfar are far more direct – they just slay everything in their path. This is powerful, remorseless Black Metal that can go from high-speed blasting to doomy grooves without losing an ounce of conviction. The mark of a good Black Metal riff is that it sounds good played slow, and all the riffs here are good. Amazing to me how this band manages to stay so completely within the bounds of Scandinavian Black Metal while still sounding so original – that is real songwriting power is what that is. Virus West is classic and revolutionary at the same time, and wields an epic power I associate with brilliant bands like Nehemah or the aforementioned Ruins Of Beverast – I know Meilenwald is tired of comparisons, but the similarity in atmospheres, song-structures and even production are inescapable. That said, this is a different musical entity. Nagelfar are not really experimental, they just play Black Metal about as well as it is possible for mortals to play it. Virus West is definitely an overlooked classic of the genre, and any fan should do their best to track it down. Highly Recommended.
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