Nagelfar “Hünengrab Im Herbst” (1997)

Suffering of solitude and loneliness: not the social one, but the one that grabs hold of you when you notice how truly insane seemingly everybody, including your friends and family are, appears to be the spirit in which this masterpiece of avant-garde black metal must have been put together.

Even if you discover that duality transcending wisdom is present at all times within us and you know how to tap into it and let it drive your being, there are moments on the path towards ascertaining and stabilizing this view where you just feel terribly alone… alone amongst humans.

Have you ever noticed that people interact with each other solely in dependence of their instinctive needs and desires which itself roots in the ignorance of believing a thing such as a self or ego exists? While the wisest mystics and smartest scientists come to the same conclusion the wide majority of humans busy themselves with gaining more. More wealth (monetary and experiential) for most, more knowledge and cultural materialism for others.

A thought pattern of this kind can plunge us into lethargy or make us put on the ugly mask of phlegm. So in order to avoid the treacherous pits of self-pity that await further down the field of such a contemplative state of mind we need an album such as Nagelfar’s “Hünengrab Im Herbst”.

“Allein”, the german word for “alone” spoken in a way which simply acknowledges the situation without being burdened with judgement introduces a powerful scream, blastbeats and a wall of guitars which catch our inexpressive face’s attention to where the music comes from and where we recognize a soulmate screaming and chanting simultaneously and joining us on the battlefield backdropped by our minds.

The vocals are just amazingly epic in scale, be it during deep chants of longing or screams of despair, both rooting in that rare place where rage and disappointment, wisdom and compassion merge together. We are then taken through a musical landscape inhabited by those who wish to break the shackles of conceptual thought, that which binds us to the cycle of life and death, of pleasure and pain, to finally conquer the great citadel of immortality. In form of raging gales of black metal guitar storms, harmonic mostly, with a tendency to lean into the dissonant on “Schwanengesang”. They move at a pace set by a, at first glimpse, simply working rhythm section whose numerous subtleties and prominence in the sound should set an example for aspiring black metal producers. Further companions salute when electronic medleys, piano or acoustic guitar interludes let the music ascend from savagery to poetry, ultimately rendered a symbiosis to underline the seemingly contradictory state of mind at which this album picked us up.

At the end, we are left with the certainty having chosen a rare path of purification from ignorance, and though we must make the steps on this journey ourselves, we do not travel alone…

Endnote: Apparently the band is quite pagan and all that: As you can see I totally didn’t get it.



Release:  04.12.1997
Label:  Kettenhund Records
Avantgenre:  Pagan Black Metal Of Transcendant Solitude
Duration:  54:53
Origin:  Germany
Official site:  None
Review online since:  13.06.2010 / 20:54:39


01 – Intro
02 – Seelenland
03 – Schwanengesang
04 – Hühnengrab Im Herbst
05 – Bildnis Der Apokalypse
06 – Srontgorrth (Das Dritte Kapitel)
07 – Der Flug Des Raben (Ein Jammerschrei In Traurig’ Nächten)

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