Review: Naglfar - Téras

Band: Naglfar
Album: "Téras"
Style: Melodic black metal
Release date: 2012-03-26
Origin: Sweden

1. Téras
2. Pale Horse
3. III: Death Dimension Phantasma
4. The Monolith
5. An Extension of His Arm and Will
6. Bring Out Your Dead
7. Come Perdition
8. Invoc(H)ate
9. The Dying Flame of Existence

I cannot remember for how long people have been claiming that Naglfar have been in that same category of melodic black metal as Dissection and such bands. Yes, they are melodic but do they sound anything like Dissection? No, perhaps on their debut album "Vittra" (still their best album to this day) they hade some certain melodies and other stuff that reminded of said Gothenburg-boys. In my opinion they have always been more reminiscent of Dark Funeral and similar bands.

Anyway, on to their latest offering with the title "Téras" (which stand for Tellus/Earth) which opens with the titletrack. It is more of a short and effective intro rather than a real song and I like it for what it is - an apocalyptic and quite doomy and melodic introduction to the rest of the album. So far so good.

Then - as we are more or less used to with this band nowadays - things goes into a frenzy quite immediately. And I stand by what I said earlier - this sounds exactly like a Dark Funeral song. Not that there's anything particular bad about that because those guys have had their share of good songs from time to time. As have Naglfar. But this is one of my main complaints about the second song "Pale Horse" - we've heard this so many times before that it almost has become ludicrous at this point. The drumming is ace (courtesy of Dirk Verbeuren), the good guitar melodies are there from time to time and the vocals are so-so. But my major complaint is that it has nothing that sticks out - no personality or feeling whatsoever. The same can be said about the second song "III: Death Dimension Phantasma", although it actually has a bit more atmosphere and edge than the previous.

Kristoffer Olivius, Vargher & Andreas Nilsson
"The Monolith" is a midtempo song which feels so god damn boring and again lacking any atmosphere and feeling. During it's six and a half minutes, absolutely nothing at all happens. I know that the next sentenced has been overused till death, but it really fits here - "It is like watching paint dry".

The next song is a bit faster again, this time with a certain groove that actually feels alright. Still, it does not really do anything that makes my spine shiver or the hair on my arms stand. But I think that another huge problem I have with Naglfar is that Kristoffer Olivius is a very unexciting and dull vocalist in the black metal world. He barely varies his voice at all during the entire record and due to the fact that he has no identity whatsoever, he just becomes another vocalist in the ever-growing ocean of mediocre black metal-vocalists.

The record goes on like this as they desperately try to vary the songs, but they are lost in mediocreness and the end result is an uninspired record with some mid-tempo and some faster, more aggressive songs that goes nowhere. I am so tired of their dull black metal, that by the time I get to track 6, I can't do anything but laugh - have these guys never seen "Monty Pythons Quest for the Holy Grail"? That seems impossible to me - also, the chorus of "Bring Out your Dead" is so goddamn dull and tedious I just feeling like shooting myself. Although there are some redeeming qualities on "Téras" here and there, I really can't give a higher score than 4. Cool album cover though.


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