02. Pale Horse
03. III: Death Dimension Phantasma
04. The Monolith
05. An Extension Of His Arm And Will
06. Bring Out Your Dead
07. Come Perdition
09. The Dying Flame Of Existence
[Century Media Records]
Black metal is a curious beast. I didn’t even think to delve into this misunderstood genre of metal until I heard Mayhem’s debut record and the most recent release from Krallice, which I reviewed. It really is more of an acquired taste; something that the palate must be prepped for. When I first discovered metal, I was into Metallica and Iron Maiden, not Dimmu Borgir and Burzum. However, when your first taste black metal on a palate that is prepared for it, you will receive a healthy, hearty, and heavy treat.
There are many types of black metal, but the classic sound relies on fast picking and equally fast drums compounded by high vocals. Enter Naglfar with their latest release, Téras. If you want classic black metal with a modern twist, you got it. Naglfar has all the essential elements to make this record really stick in your memory. As the opening title track begins, you are greeted with majestic samples over a soaring bridge of anthemic, atmospheric guitars. Beyond that, the album is just straight up black metal. The first time, I listened to this record as sort of background music, preoccupied with other things. However on the second, third, and fourth listening, I really made time to sit down, embrace the songs a little bit, and let the music speak for itself, and man did it shout.
My favorite two songs have to be ‘Invoc(H)ate‘ and ‘The Dying Flame Of Existence‘, which are on the tail end of this album. There are no bad songs on this album, nor is there any filler. They all just go straight to the point and create a very nice album — full, yet concise. This album didn’t feel like a chore to listen to; I wasn’t waiting for a song to be over just so I could get through the entire album. 8 songs is the perfect length for me, not like a 14-16 song album filled with 4 and a half minute long songs, some of which seem to be written just to take up space and make a longer record. It didn’t feel forced, which I can appreciate very much.
Téras is a very well put together album. It flows very nicely, and the segues from one song to the other are nearly seamless, with the occasionally fade-out or sudden stop. But the pace always picks up, and even the slower songs like ‘The Dying Flame Of Existence’ still ring in your head and are very complex songs built around pounding guitar riffs. The musicianship on this album is some of the best I have heard. Very member is on point and contribute equally, and each instrument is heard, which is always something I look for.
My only critique for the album is that it is just under 45 minutes long. I feel that with any album, you need a strong, heavy song to take you out of the album, and while this album has that, it would have been nice to see another song over the 8 minute mark, possibly at 10 minutes or longer, closing out the record, sort of a personal preference.
Black metal has stayed relatively unchanged compared to the evolution of the other genres of metal, but Téras ensures that the true roots of black metal will forever be planted in the same ground it was cultivated in almost 30 years ago with bands laying the foundation, such as Venom, Mercyful Fate, and King Diamond.
Naglfar – Téras gets…