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   NAGLFAR
Sheol
2003
New Hawen Records
http://www.www.naglfar.tk


rating: 4/5

1. I Am Vengeance
2. Black God Aftermath
3. Wrath Of The Fallen
4. Abysmal Descent
5. Devoured By Naglfar
6. Of Gorgons Spawned Through      Witchcraft
7. Unleash Hell
8. Force Of Pandemonium
9. The Infernal Ceremony
The long awaited full length ablum from Naglfar is finally here. We had to wait 5 years for their new album but sure, "Sheol" was worth the wait. The expectations for "Sheol" was very high since they offered a little peek into their new material with the teaser "Ex Inferis" last year and "Sheol" was also supposed to be released last year. Their new album title "Sheol" means "Hell" in Hebrew that is a fitting title for the sinister music the cd contains. The ship built from the nails of dead men has left the port and ready to unleash "Sheol" on mortals. Now you only have to make one decision, do you want to be one of the passangers or you rather stay on the shore...

The first thing that you will recognise is that they moved more towards black metal comparing it to their two previous albums. And of course this fact has good and bad sides as well. They sound a bit like many other black metal bands that know how to make fast, quality music but on the other hand every Naglfar song is full of changes and details that may surprise you after each listening, discovering something you haven't heard before in the particular song. This album may take its time till you feel like you know it and that is what puts Naglfar above the rest of the bands in this genre. If you've heard "Ex Inferis" then you were prepared for the raw black metal influence you could here in "Of Gorgons Spawned Thorugh Witchcraft" though a few details have been changed on the song since then.
They kept the slight melodies that make their music even listenable to those who are not black metal fans but the music they deliver to us is still fast, agreesive and dynamic and harmonic in its own way. The guitars are emphasiszed more and while I know the drums should get more attention too, I really like it. The thrilling guitar sound makes the otherwise typical themes enjoyable again and again - it's simply timeless. Of course they surprise us with some not black metalish riffs like in "Unleash Hell" and "Force Of Pandemonium". It's surprising just like the short piano moments appearing here and there. There are also a few slowed down parts making the mass of this chaotic, fast music darker. Jens tries to articulate more so you can understand more of the lyrics this time and that's an extra too.
The other thing you will hear on "Sheol" is that there is a strong Dissection touch in their music. No, it doesn't sound like a Dissection album, it's not a copy either, you can just find some similarity. This is why my favourite song is "Black God Aftermath" and "Force Of Pandemonim".
We should mention Niklas Sundin who was responsible for the cover art that deserves attention. If the music is not enough apocalyptic for you, just look at the weird cover pic. Amazing piece of his works.

I don't have a hard job to give you the final conclusion, "Sheol" will be among the top albums of 2003. I know it's only may now, but it doesn't matter if an album with well arranged, quality extreme music comes out in the first or the last days of the year, it has its place among the best of the actual year.

"Sheol" is out finally so now we only have to wait for a new Dead Silent Slumber release (for those who are not familiar, DSD is Jens' solo project). I hope it will happen soon, too.

submitted by Katalin 05.06.2003

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