Review by Death8699 on June 18, 2019.
A melodic black metal band like Naglfar deserves recognition for this one heck of a fine album. Follow up from Pariah, this one is better produced, and each vocal/instrument output is well heard. An exoneration of what is to be amongst the top of their game in this scarce genre of metal. Rarely do you hear a band with a combination of melodic riffs combined with blast beating and scorching riff overtures that belt into your brain.
The music features melodies that are quite memorable and admirable. The combination of melodic riffs amongst bass lines that ebb thoroughly with remarkable creativity and atmosphere that's dark and dismal. Songs open up with either blast beating belting deep into the cranium. Tempo changes are incredible. Such intensity is featured here, and the vocals compliment the devastating riffs.
Each track is memorable featuring tremolo picked guitar riffs that are blazingly fast. But it isn't featured on this whole album, just for the most of it. Best to listen to the songs with headphones so that you don't miss out on any of the melodic guitar mixed with a commanding vocal. Everything seems to flow unabashedly and most of the fast parts are during the vocal lines.
As I said before, this album was well mixed which each instrument flowing well into the core of this evil and solemn concoction of devastating melodic black metal. This is what was missing on their previous release Pariah, which was also good, but it was difficult to hear the riffs outright. Harvest doesn't lack that component which makes it such a gem of a release.
The lyrical department features bits on suicide, death, dying, and so forth. It meshes well with the atmosphere of the album. Dismal topics, but what do you expect from these melodic black metal mongrels? Vocals throughout the album spew forth these hateful lyrics and give it an aura of eerie sounding touch of evil. You can actually understand the vocals without looking at a sheet of their lyrics. Not on every song, but for a majority of them.
If you're looking for something that's in the vein of extreme melodic black metal, then Harvest delivers. The music, the vocals, the drum lines are all in synchrony with riffs that are dark and dismal. So many features of this album contain riff structures that are admirable, vocals that are dark/depressing, drum bits with furious beating and bashing high intensity. Pick this one up because it does the metal community great justice!
Rating: 9 out of 10
Review by Tomek on April 2, 2007.
Naglfar got me used to a high quality of their recordings, so when I got "Harvest" into my hands, I knew what to expect. This is the fifth album by those Swedes, so I was a little worried if they would be able to keep up to their high recording standards of the previous albums and if their music would still reek of hatred, evil and suffering.
Even though there are a few things on this album that I find weaker (we'll talk about them later), "Harvest" as a whole makes me smile. Naglfar is one of those bands that can effortlessly mix raw energy of Black Metal that we know from their first albums with the elements of melodic Death Metal introduced in their later releases. This mix makes their songs memorable to a point that you can recognize them from the first riffs. Traditionally of course, intensity mixes with atmospheric slower parts, melodic touches intertwine with ultra fast brutality, and in all that, solos, parts of keyboards or piano are thrown into as if into a twister of sickening sound.
Musically, the whole band shows us solid compositional skills, supported by technical instrumentality and respectable experience. Vocals are one of the 2 things that I don't find satisfying all the way to the end. Not that there is anything wrong because Christopher Olivius spits out wicked lyrics, but I think that on "Pariah", he sang with such passion and malice, that vocals added an extra level of brutality. On "Harvest", somehow I don't feel that rage and hatred as much. Don't get me wrong, vocals are very strong and solid, but I believe it's missing that sickening venom and cold madness known from "Pariah". To me, this album as a whole feels more melodic and somewhat toned down. I don't feel their previous hate of the human race, stench of burning sulfur and overall vile repugnance. Except for those two little things, I believe "Harvest" is an inspired, interesting and originally diverse piece of work. I will definitely come back to it in a while. I've listened to it a bit too much last couple of days, and, I must add, enjoyed it sinfully. Now it is time for something new to pummel my ears and torment my soul.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.8 out of 10