Through trenchant seas the seasoned crew on the ship NAGLFAR deliver their fifth and most accomplished slab of melodic black metal, Harvest. Perfectly fusing the raw energy of their earlier works with the inspired and cutting melodicism of 2005’s Pariah, Harvest marks the raucous return of one of the genre’s most celebrated acts, and sees these five Swedes set their sights on sinister shores previously uncharted. Without sacrificing their trademark ferocity, NAGLFAR delve deeper into songwriting mode, crafting nine brilliantly orchestrated tracks that stick harder than cement. Newest member Morgan Lie (bass) and Mattias Grahn (drums) provide the backdrop for the sharp, anguished screams of Kristoffer Olivius (vocals), who injects the release with an even more diverse array of vocal venom than that found on Pariah, his singing debut. His newfound role as vocal strongman has earned him a number of accolades and even a guest spot on power metal stalwarts Nocturnal Rites’ Grand Illusion, where he offers a wicked alternative to the classic clean sheen that defines the group’s sound.
With a stronger set of lungs and a penchant for unbridled mayhem, Olivius channels only the blackest of spirits to conjure his strangely unique brew of fiendish vocals. While he stands near ship’s helm, bold and triumphant, Andreas Nilsson (lead guitar) and Marcus Norman (rhythm guitar) supply a dense whirlwind of carefully calculated riffs that carry NAGLFAR toward metal’s Olympus. Unmatched in the melodic death and black metal worlds, NAGLFAR finds itself the lone champion of all that is dark, technical, and unholy.
Founded by Olivius in 1992, NAGLFAR combines the ferocity of traditional black metal with the subtle melodic overtones of those early melodic death albums that put Sweden on the map. Carefully balancing those seemingly opposing forces the past 15 years has allowed the band to carve their own distinct path. Olivius launched NAGLFAR under the name “Uninterred” with original vocalist Jens Ryden. The group has since gone through a cycle of lineups, each one becoming stronger with each subsequent release. Before their first demo, Stella Trajectio, was pressed, the group made the switch to the NAGLFAR tag. Hearing their unique brand of corrosive blackened melodic death metal for the first time, labels began to court the band and the group’s first full-length, Vittra, was born. Garnering rave reviews in 1995, Vittra remains a benchmark for many bands today.
With the departure of Ryden a decade after Vittra’s release, Olivius assumed vocal responsibilities in addition to his role as bass player. Fans anxiously awaited Olivius’ debut as frontman. Not one to disappoint the legion of NAGLFAR faithful, Olivius infixed the group’s fourth album, Pariah, with an urgency never before heard from the Swedes. Now serving exclusively as vocalist, Olivius has honed his craft to perfection in the two years separating Pariah and their latest masterpiece, Harvest.