NAGELFAR - Virus West
Release date July 23/01 (Ars Metalli)
Flashback album review originally published in Rip'N'Tear Magazine, Issue #14
Epic in scope and grandeur, Nagelfar pummels, slices and soothes ... and then does it over and over again throughout this 7-song, 65-minute listening adventure. The basis for this beast is grim, speedy black metal, but this German troupe (not to be confused with Sweden's Naglfar) offer so much more; apocalyptic doom, melodic Thy Primordial-style chording and acoustic passages all make regular appearances, as well.
Incorporating all these influences into a coherent whole must have been a chore, but Nagelfar have more than succeeded; they've raised the bar for future black metal releases. Just take the finale, 'Meuterri' for example. An acoustic opening leads to a lumbering Black Sabbath hand of doom riff, which is then followed by some catchy melodic guitar work and faux horns ... which then blasts into vicious blackness. Brilliantly conceived, brilliantly written, brilliantly performed - brilliant in all aspects.
Drop what you are doing now, purchase this and be pummeled into acquiescence. Mandatory.
I'm left shaking my head as I write this, totally puzzled as to why this album didn't get hailed by the blackened hordes. The band must have been surprised as well, given that they ended up disbanding the following year (most likely in abject frustration).
I unequivocally still stand by this album, in fact hailing it amongst the top 20 black metal albums of all time. I hereby order you to listen the attached 'Meuterri' (refer to the You Tube link above) and dare you to tell me that it's not one of best BM tracks of all time. Sadly, a hidden gem of an album.