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The Wizard of Nerath - 68%

CannibalCorpse, May 11th, 2006

Nergal is a band which is rarely heard of nowadays, but they definitely had some kind of historical importance in the mid-nineties.

Nergal is a band somewhat similar to old Rotting Christ and their countrymates Varathron. There surely is a reason why these two are still around and still well known in black metal circles, but Nergal's only full length album "The Wizard of Nerath" is still nicely done Greek BM.

One of Nergal's shortcomings is the vocal work. There are rarely any words decipherable and most of the time it sounds like Varg on his early Burzum efforts, just significantly weaker, so they can become pretty annoying after a few songs. There's little to no variation, which does not help either.

Another slight lowpoint is the guitarwork. They have great, minimalist keys, creating the typical Greek atmosphere but the guitars don't complement the keyboard lines, they often work against them, instead of enhancing the sound. Listen to Varathron's "His Majesty at the Swamp" and you'll hear how it's done right.

All the complaints aside, it's still a good album. One of the strong points is the great use of acoustic guitar, which is not so common in the style. It keeps the songs from sounding boring and overlong, especially since the distorted riffs wouldn't be strong enough to back the length of the songs up.

The drumming is also fairly good, especially for a drum-machine(as far as I know, it is a machine), it's got a great sound for a machine and you'll have a hard time with hearing a difference between a human drummer and a computer.

Overall, this is a good album. Not a masterpiece by any means, but a good slab of oldschool greek black metal, only brought down by a slight lack of identity and not enough good riffs.

If you are a fan of the scene, check out "The Wizard of Nerath".