Rating:
9.6
Nazgul - De Expugnatione Elfmuth
17 November 2002


01. Proemium
02. Hult-Garth (Qui Inferorum Animas Excitat)
03. Elficidium
04. Dies Festi...
05. In Summis Montibus
06. Nigrum Praesagium
07. Impetus Quartae Lunae Novae
08. Caelum Obscuratur
09. Legio Draconorum Orkian
10. Natura Cadit
11. Charcharon (Damnosus Impetus)
12. Solvitur Ad Elfmuth (Ante Bellum)
13. Bellum (Humanes Resistentes Superavit)
14. Epilogus


I stumbled onto this band by complete accident. It was a long time ago, and at the time I wasn't much into black metal. I listened to one song thinking the melody was totally cool, but when I heard the vocals I went like 'are these guys for real?'

A while back I decided to give the band one more listen, since I was slowly starting to get into BM. I got the album and turned up the volume...It was an amazing experience. The album starts with a 40 second symphonic masterpiece called "Proemium". By the time the second track is over you'll already love the album or you will hate it.

The keyboards deliver amazing melodies while the guitar is somewhat hidden under all those complicated musical structures. The vocals are quite unconventional. Extremely high pitched screams are sung in an almost owl-like manner. I can only compare them to Varg's screams, but these are even higher. They are often suddenly interrupted and replaced by low pitched brutal growls, and there are also a lot of spoken parts in the songs. Even too much if you ask me.

The songs are comprised of quite unsteady rhythmical structures, but that shouldn't bother the listener. It is all part of the atmosphere, since it is the composer's goal to take the listener on a journey from the darkest depths of Mordor to the white walls of Minas Tirith.

Yes, judging by the band's name, and also by the cover of this album, this is another Tolkien inspired band which probably draws most of it's influences from Summoning. That may be the case, but this album is done in an extremely original and fresh way. The production is also quite good. This album is nor over or under produced it's just....right. The guitars might seem a bit fuzzy, but if you scratch under the symphonic surface you can recognize some really cool guitarwork. What Zakrathor did with the keyboards is absolutely amazing. He is one helluva musician.

He also took care of the drum programming and unfortunately that didn't turn out as good as everything else on this album. That is the only thing that prevents me from giving a 10 to this album. I just feel that the drumming doesn't feel 'real' enough. You might think that too, just listen to songs like "Legio Draconoru Orkiam".

For me, highlights of this album are "Hult-Garth", "In Summis Montibus", "Charcharon Damnosus Impetus", "Solvitur Ad Elfmuth Ante Bellum" and "Bellum Humanes Resistentes Superavit". In the end of the album the of the album Orcish forces crush the resistance of men and elves and complete the slaughter. It is also very important to mention that all of the lyrics are in Latin.

Well, that's pretty much it. This 14 track symphonic folkish masterpiece is quite hard to get, but damn it, it's definitely worth getting.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Nazgul
Album: De Expugnatione Elfmuth


 


written by Smurfophagist | 25.04.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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4look4rd - 26.07.2009 at 05:22  
Nice review, for a great album. I am not really into black metal, but this album truly amazed me. As you pointed out the key boards are the highlight of the album. I thought the drumming was fine.... you can tell its a drum machine but it still doesn't bother me. The only thing that threw me off was the vocal, but again thats probably because I'm into black metal.
Ellrohir - 26.07.2009 at 08:15  
This is perfect example of what makes me listen to black metal - or some kinds of them...wonderful melodies, great atmosphere, epic...love it
Lord_Regnier - 26.07.2009 at 22:34  
Vocals are pure shit and trash everything.
I agree with the comparison to Varg, in the sense that vocals in Nazgul, Burzum, and Elffor are the crappiest and most unlistenable I ever heard in Black Metal.
I'm a big fan of harsh vocals but in these bands vocals sound like shit.
Diabolos - 26.07.2009 at 23:04  
The sound of the band would be pretty good, but the vocals are really really really bad . And the 9.6 is waaay to high, even if someone likes the vocals I think a solid 8 would be fine, but definately not 9.6
Ellrohir - 27.07.2009 at 02:19  
In fact i find these vocals very nice, maybe even great...i always seek for something "special", especially in black metal stuff, so this should be the reason, why i like these "special" ("strange", "sh!t", whatever...) vocals good

remembered Andrea Tilenni (Fear Of Eternity)...so many people are saying his voice doesnt even belong to bm...i adore it though...
Elio - 27.07.2009 at 10:24  
Uh, cool Italian BM?
Ellrohir - 27.07.2009 at 10:34  
More than cool
Slayer666 - 22.09.2009 at 21:03  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 26.07.2009 at 22:34

Vocals are pure shit and trash everything.
I agree with the comparison to Varg, in the sense that vocals in Nazgul, Burzum, and Elffor are the crappiest and most unlistenable I ever heard in Black Metal.
I'm a big fan of harsh vocals but in these bands vocals sound like shit.

Oh, come now. The vocals are not prominent enough to trash EVERYTHING. Although, yes, these are certanly the worst vocals I've ever heard with the possible exception of Striborg's. Sounds like a owl with a speech (howl) disorder getting raped in the ass....
This is not really my style of BM, but I like the album. Such an epic atmosphere...
And the review is spot-on!
Lord_Regnier - 23.09.2009 at 00:59  
Written by Slayer666 on 22.09.2009 at 21:03

Written by Lord_Regnier on 26.07.2009 at 22:34

Vocals are pure shit and trash everything.
I agree with the comparison to Varg, in the sense that vocals in Nazgul, Burzum, and Elffor are the crappiest and most unlistenable I ever heard in Black Metal.
I'm a big fan of harsh vocals but in these bands vocals sound like shit.

Oh, come now. The vocals are not prominent enough to trash EVERYTHING. Although, yes, these are certanly the worst vocals I've ever heard with the possible exception of Striborg's. Sounds like a owl with a speech (howl) disorder getting raped in the ass....
This is not really my style of BM, but I like the album. Such an epic atmosphere...
And the review is spot-on!

It's personal but, for me, when vocals are that bad, it scraps everything.

And yeah, Striborg's vocals are horrendous. In fact, everything is utter crap in Striborg.
In Nazgul, at least the music could be enjoyable if you could put listenable vocals on it. In Striborg's case, even with awesome vocals it would still suck.
I forgot to mention Striborg on my last post.

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