To this day, I still absolutely love Naglfar’s first two albums and Vittra and Diabolical remain two of my very favorite 90s melodic black metal albums. And while 2003 Sheol was a worthy follow up, with the departure of vocalist Jens Ryden, the band fell into a bit of a rut with subsequent albums  Pariah, Harvest and Teras.

So after a 8 year lay off, the band has returned, still sans Rydens, and the question would be would they deliver another formulaic release, or be energized after the long hiatus with the fire and brimstone of their early work. The well answer is unquestionably the latter, as Cerekloth is a blsitering, vitriolic return to form and the album that should have come after (or before) Sheol.

It’s throat rippingly apparent from the opening title track, that Naglfar have found their groove again, rendering slick, razor sharp melodic black metal that hearkens back to the early efforts.

Seriously, there are so many great, classic sounding melodic black metal riffs on here that they could be lost cuts from Diabolical and Sheol recordings that were recently recovered. It’s that good. With Dan Swano’s razor sharp mastering, the delivery of simply killer riffs from the aforementioned title track to “Vortex of Negativity”, personal favorite, “The Dagger in Creation” and closer “A Sanguine Tide Unleashed” is perfectly delivered melodic black metal that recalls the band and the genre’s glory days.

A few slower tracks litter the album like “Horns” , “Like Poison for the Soul” and “Cry of the Seraphim”, and while menacing and breaking up the blistering assault, none of them quite live up to say “The Brimstone Gate” from Diabolical (one of my all time favorite black metal tracks ever) but add some variety to a killer comeback album that sets things right after a few ‘meh’ efforts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 18th, 2020


  1. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    I need to spend more time with this,I absolutely love the first two as well, plus the follow-up EP. And Sheol has some classic tracks. But my first listen of this whooshed by without anything grabbing hold. Been spending a lot more time w the new And Oceans (woot late 90s melodic black renaissance!!)

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