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Nargaroth - "Rasluska Part II" (No Colours Records, MCD, 2002)
"What a strange album name", were the first words I spoke when listening to this record for the first time. And by now I still didn't understand its title.
Anyway, if you follow Nargaroth for a short period of time and are expecting a follow up for "Blackmetal ist Krieg" it's better not spending you're money with this MCD, for in this record Kanwulf returns to its earlier sound. I often label this MCD as a blending between the demo "Orke" (the vocals and the drums are quite akin) and "Herbstleyd" (the atmosphere and the narrator are very similar).
This MCD is a very coherent piece of music, with an outstanding atmosphere that flows like a river stream from the first to the last song. The presence of the keyboards really help transmitting this atmosphere, but they are very well inserted, I mean they are used for atmospheres, the lead is up to the guitar.
All in all, this is clearly a positive effort in the career of Nargaroth.

1 - Introduction - In Stillem Gedenken
2 - ...Und Ich Sah Sonn´ Nimmer Heben
3 - Abschiedsbrief Des Prometheus
4 - ...Vom Freien Willen Eines Schwarzen Einhorns



Nargaroth - "Blackmetal Ist Krieg - A Dedication Monument" (No Colours Records, CD, 2001)
After "Herbstleyd" in 1998 and "Amarok" in 2000 Kanwulf (the mentor and only member of this project) is back. 
I think that before reading this review you need to know that Blackmetal ist Krieg means Blackmetal is War. And that this album is a war against all those who try to destroy Blackmetal!
But let's talk about the music... First think you notice by listening to this album is the completely  different styles of the 11 songs, so you'll see that Blackmetal Ist Krieg is not a concept album, but songs written separately and put together in homage to the glorious time of Blackmetal.
It's not easy to classify the type of sound present in this album because all the songs  are very different, but beside being very different there is one aspect in which they are all common: the enormous amount of emotion that transcends from all of them!
From "Erik may you rape the angels" that was written in memory of Grimm, Immortal's drummer who committed suicide, (this song you can see an approximation to the sound of Immortal's "Pure Holocaust"), to the cover versions of Azhubham Haani, Lord Foul, Root and Moonblood, where each one of the songs has its particular feeling . The songs written by Kanwulf are also very different among each other, starting by the title track of the album which is a real example of what Blackmetal was in the early days, and what it should always be, or the part III of trilogy Amarok that was composed in honor of Kanwulf's familiars that died in WWII and musically is something like a cry of hate, or the song that recreates the most known event in the history of Blackmetal (The Day as Burzum Killed Mayhem) that takes you right in to Burzum eralier albums. As I said before all of them are different, but all of them are just great, showing to everyone that doubted it that the spirit of the early days is still present.

This album is a perfect example that feeling prevails over technique. A must if you miss the remote times of Blackmetal.

1 - Introduction
2 - Blackmetal Ist Krieg
3 - Far Beyond the Stars
4 - Seven Tears are Flowing to the River
5 - I Burn for You
6 - The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem
7 - Pisen Pro Satana
8 - Amarok - Born des Lammes III
9 - Erik, May You Rape the Angels
10 - The Gates of Eternity
11 - Possessed by Black Fucking Metal



Nargaroth - "Herbstleyd" (Autumnsorrow) (No Colours, CD, 1998)
Nowadays pseudo-Blackmetal is without doubt a marketing maneuver, but fortunately for me and for the followers of the "true-Blackmetal" scene, Kanwulf, the man behind this project, has decided to create a band that has still the inspiration of the earlier days, but with some new ideas, with this in mind he created Nargaroth and "Herbstleyd" is the title for the debut album.
In this debut album he joined the typical raw sound of the guitar/drums/vocals with samples, creating atmospheres in a very original and very well achieved way, and it's in this joining of samples that relies the true value of Nargaroth. Allying the darker atmospheres with the enourmous amount of feeling, Kanwulf has built a remarkable album.
The samples are mainly the sound of animals (ducks and wolves) and of running water (they were very well captured and inserted in the right places), this samples joined with the presence of a female narrator helps creating the atmospheres, seeming that you're reading/listening to a horror story.
About the instrumentalization it is quite simple and direct with a discrete (fortunately) presence of the keyboards that helps creating the atmospheres and  transmitting the feeling of the album.
This album is a very good proof that Blackmetal is still alive, a must for those who follow the "true" Blackmetal scene.

1 - Introduction - Herbstleyd (Introduction - Autumnsorrow)
2 - Karmageddon
3 - Nargaroth
4 - Des alten Kriegers Seelenruh (The Old Warrior's Peace Of Mind)
5 - Born des Lammes (Wrath Of The Lamb)
6 - Das Schwarze Gemälde (The Black Painting)
7 - Vom Traum die Menscheit zu töten - Outro (Of The Dream To Kill Mankind - Outro)

Note: Between () is the translation to English, though it's not like this in the booklet, I thinks it's important to those who are reading this review to know the meaning of the title of the album/songs.



Nile - "Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka" (Relapse Records, CD, 1998)
Nowadays many death metal bands are known for their huge lack of creativity and innovative ideas...yes, I could mention here some of them (Devourment and the Belgians Severe Torture, for example), but the review's purpose is another. However, Nile always kept distanced from them, showing that they still have something new, refreshing to offer to the scene. This album was supposed to be released by Visceral Prods, but due to motives that I'm still unfamiliar with, Relapse Records was the chosen label. This masterpiece contains 11 tracks of REAL astonishing death metal, with touches of gloomy and envolving egyptian atmosphere, several guttural voices and riff-changing every 2 seconds (these 2 guitar players show a really incredible technique!!) Pete Hammoura, the drummer, isn't the fastest out there, but his endurance level is tremendous. About the lyrical concept, it's based in Egyptian mythology, ancient civilizations, etc...wich I find quite interesting. Are you looking for some fresh ideas? Go to your local music store and get this as soon as possible, I'm sure you WON'T regret (or you can also get it through the label). One of the most obscure and brutal bands I've ever heard. My favourite death metal album for 2000.

1 - Smashing The Antiu
2 - Barra Edinazzu
3 - Kudurru Maqlu
4 - Serpent Headed Mask
5 - Ramses Bringer Of War
6 - Stones Of Sorrow
7 - Die Rache Krieg Lied Der Assyriche
8 - The Howling Of the Jinn
9 - Pestilence And Iniquity
10 - Opening Of The Mouth
11 - Beneath Eternal Oceans Of Sand



Nile - In Their Darkened Shrines (Cd, Relapse Records, 2002)
Finally we are presented with a true death metal masterpiece. I must confess that’s been long times since something
with so strong potential have entered my CD player (and spirit).
The Americans Nile has been recognized by their technical composition and combination of death metal and Egyptian mythology/culture.
The band recruited a new drummer, Pete Hammoura, who reinforced the structural position of the music and linked all the imperceptible voids in the sound.
“In Their Darkened Shrines” presents fewer passages than “Amongst the Catacombs of Nefren- Ka” or “Black Seeds of Vengeance”, or the arrangements are introduced in other way, mixed down into the music.
Frenzy guitars and blaster drums allied with chimes in symphonic arrangements; Egyptian chants and choirs entice the senses of the listener.
Inspired by Karl Sanders passion about Egyptian culture and old school techniques, they behold the skull of the finest death metal ever produced.
The album is divided by chapters related to hieroglyphic texts and manuscripts; it’s an underground trip through Egyptian catacombs, exploring the temple’s depths.
Nile has defined an intense union of these elements generating now a unique project in death metal history.
Wonderful and Magickal, Spiritual and Consuming, Strong and Powerful. Death Metal Art.

1 - The Blessed Dead
2 - Execration Text
3 - Sarcophagus
4 - Kheftiu Asar Butchiu
5 - Unas Slayer of the Gods
6 - Churning the Maelstrom
7 - I Whisper in the Ear of the Dead
8 - Wind of Horus - In Their Darkened Shrines
9 - Hall of Saurian Entombement
10 - Invocation to Seditious Heresy
11 - Destruction of the Temple of the Enemies Of Ra
12 - Ruins



Noctuary - "For Salvation" (Lost Disciple Records, CD, 1998)
Lost Disciple Records? Never heard about this label, but that doesn't really matters. This band is from California and I think that before this they've only released a demo entitled "Where All Agony Prevails", composed by 6 tracks (correct me if I'm wrong). Well, they're a not very interesting Black metal act; fast rythms (as required), some (surprising) thrash riffing that occasionally reminds me a bit of Kreator's early days (but more raw) and some fast drumming including mid-paced moments. This album has 2 tracks that also appeared on their demo, "Funeral Ceremony" and "Eternal Nightmare" (just in case you're interested). About the production, it's reasonable but the (scraped) voice superposes the music a bit, next time try to mix it properly guys. This is not an abominable release, but afterall I've heard bands like this millions of times. Their originality is something like 5% or less, and that's the reason why I don't intend to listen this release again.

1 - Funeral Ceremony
2 - For Salvation...
3 - Forever Shrouded Within this World
4 - Sorrow in Winter Darkness
5 - Eternal Nightmare
6 - The Once Forgotten Past
7 - Lost In Illusions
8 - Consumed by Fear
9 - Black Bleeding Sou
10 - Cast into the Brooding Shadow
11 - Journey to the Lost Kingdom