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Review: Nachtfalke - First Battles
First Battles

Label: Christhunt Productions
Year released: 2006
Duration: 156:00
Genre: Viking Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: February 12, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
First Battles

Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)

For those who aren't in the know, Nachtfalke started life in the late-nineties as the one man side project of Monblood's Occulta Mors. Setting itself apart from the raw Moonblood sound, Nachtfalke comes across more as a brutalized Bathory, combining old school black metal with large swathes of heathen viking melodies. What this box of treats offers you is the bands earlier releases, with disc 1 containing the Hail Victory Teutonia album, disc 2 compiling the second and third albums Doomed to Die and Land of Frost, with the 3rd disc being Live at Asguard, a DVD capturing the first ever live appearance in 2005 with a full line up. However, let this not lead you into thinking that this is one of those crap 'quantity over quality' odds and sods releases, as throughout all 3 discs, the top notch blackened Viking metal does not waver in class one bit.

Emanating prime Hammerheart worship, touches of Morrigan, and perhaps even later Graveland at times whilst always retaining their own darker vision, Nachtfalke is a must for fans of the genre. The brusque, low vocals singing of iron, victory and Valhalla coupled with varying mid-to-fast paced fuzzy tuneful guitar and rattling drums, layered carefully in with a sluice of triumphant spiritual synthesizers throughout all three of the albums, further pronounce the fact that the band can proficiently create such an idyllic racket over the course of something more than a single 'one hit wonder' album. Hail Victory Teutonia does have a couple of longer, more epic tracks, with that album alone bordering on the 80 minute mark, but this is not to say that the other two albums are not grandiose masterpieces in their own right, as the songs are simply more densely compacted into 5-7 minute undiluted forms. At the end of the second disc, there's also a cover of Darkthrone's Transylvanian Hunger, which although seeming out of place on the rest of the CD, is pretty much note for note perfect representation of the original, albeit with slightly more howling vocal work.

As for the live DVD, it's fairly impressive, with clear visual and sound quality throughout, not to mention a close up, nearly 'on the stage' feel for the live parts (I say for the live parts, as there is also some backstage footage). All in all, this release is a complete bargain, and although I think that more time could've been put into the packaging (the booklet could've been worked on in particular), the supreme music on the discs make up for it in droves. Limited to 1000 copies, make sure you get hold of this little gem before it disappears forever….

Other related information on the site
Review: As The Wolves Died (reviewed by Ktb)
Review: Doomed To Die (reviewed by Gilgamesh)
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