REVIEW: NAGLFAR – “Cerecloth”
For a long time, it has been quiet around the Swedish black metal band Naglfar and now in 2020 they release the new album “Cerecloth” with 8 tracks. One song for every year we have waited… at least the waiting is finally over.
Some singles have already been released, which reflects the whole album due to the composition of the songs. The singles have been carefully selected as it seems. The first and also title track “Cereloth” goes straight forward without mercy and introduce the full spectrum of the band and its record: Hard riffs, on playful as well as dark melodies, and appropriate vocals combined with groove and well-considered song parts make the mix for which Naglfar is known and popular. Also in the other released single “Vortex of Negativity,” exactly this mix can be recognized.
This is good music from good old times of the band. But the guys also tried some unusual and new things, like a bass intro in “Like Poison for the Soul” or crazy guitar effects like in “Necronaut”, which gives the new composition a fresh and nice touch. All in all, the album has a very high level in terms of song composition, which runs through the whole album. Only the song “Cry of the Nerafim” seems a bit uninspired, but it‘s not bad. I would say: Waiting eight years is a long time, but maybe it was worth it? YES!
So much about the composition itself. Now let‘s get to the sound mix and how it sounds overall. When I compare the sound with the last two full-length albums, the sound of the album ‘Cerecloth’ seems to me personally a bit undefined and there is a lack of power in the mix, especially in the bass frequencies. The individual instruments can be heard separately very well, but sometimes it sounds rather a bit raw and not as a whole product of mixing. I personally find it a bit strange and a pity, because I would have wished for the excellent mix of power and brilliance, as it was heard on the previous albums, also for the record ‘Cerecloth’. The sound mix overall is not bad overall, but I think the groove and the power that the songs potentially have is sometimes lost due to the partly dull or rather kind of raw overall sound.
All in all ‘Cerecloth’ is a successful record and after eight years of abstinence a very solid work and makes me hungry for more from Naglfar. Only the sound is lacking compared to the high niveau of the album itself in my opinion, but art is a matter of controversy, so: Clear recommendation for fans of awesome melodic black metal!