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Better than Land of Frost, but still not great - 80%

vorfeed, September 28th, 2005

This is the fourth full-length album from Nachtfalke, a German one-man band playing Viking style black metal.

I was disappointed with Nachtfalke's last album, "Land of Frost", but this one is much better. Most of the riffs here sound fresh, not done-before, and the songwriting is back up to par. There are a few boring songs here: "Wrath of Old Gods" is a snoozer, "Praise the War" isn't particularly special, and one cannot have a Nachtfalke album without a painfully bad Bathory cover. That said, some of these songs are among Nachtfalke's best.

"Let Me Die" starts off with a bit of medieval-sounding flute, which transitions into a rousing main riff. The Viking-style "HEY!" is a bit overused on this track, but the rest of the vocals are quite powerful and affecting. The lead guitar on this one is great, too -- very reminiscent of the best songs from "Hail Victory Teutonia" and "Doomed to Die", without re-hashing them. This is an excellent song.

"Midsummer" is both melancholy and triumphant, as it tells of the cycle of seasons. This one really captures the feeling of middle-period Bathory, with its soaring guitar lines and thoughtful lyrics.

"When the Wolves Return" starts out a bit bland, but the most aggressive riff on the album can be found here, and Nachtfalke does a great job of alternating it with more atmospheric sections. Again, the "HEY!" is a bit over the top, but it fits well enough for an aggressive song like this one.

This album isn't quite a return to the excellence of "Doomed to Die", and the main reason is filler. If this were an mCD with just the above three songs and the obligatory Bathory cover, it would be a good deal better than it is. Even so, it's still much better than the last album, and is definitely worth the price. Get Nachtfalke's first two albums before "As the Wolves Died", but once you've got them both, this one is worth your time. Recommended.

Standout tracks: "Let Me Die", "Midsummer", "When the Wolves Return"

Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net