Nifelheim
Envoy of Lucifer

Black thrash with a sneer that quickly morphs into a grin. When I want to listen to metal purely for escapist fun, enjoyment that puts a smile on your face kind of metal, I’ll put on Gamma Ray, for a few songs anyway, and then I’ll need something a bit more intense yet still happy. Nifelheim has always fit that bill, along with bands like Bestial Mockery and Nocturnal. Nifelheim actually wrote a song called “Earwigs in Your Veins.” These guys come off as a bunch of talented guys that absolutely love to play.

Screaming leads, bombastic drums, cool screams, all balanced by a harsh and steady rhythm section and twisted thrash satanic vocals. If you think Destruction in their heyday attitude wise, and, for that matter skill level wise, you have a good internal image of what Nifelheim presents to my mind’s eye.

After a long wait, Nifelheim finally delivers the followup full length, seven years is a long wait and many fans would not have waited if not for the few teasers in recent years, but still the question remains, have they still got the magic? Another cool cover is a step in the right direction. Songs are all carefully crafted for immediate impact and give many glimpses into the past revealing Kreator and Bathory roots. The sound quality is excellent, which may disappoint some fans, not interfering in the listening pleasure in the slightest, and really making the guitars stand out and shine. The drums sound good with a nice heavy sound without rumbling roughshod over the whole affair. I particularly like the Iron Maiden moments, usually punctuated by a burst of harshness. There are plenty of riffs to write home about as well.

“Open the Gates to Damnation” really rolls along at a good clip with lots of twists and turns, which may disappoint those that worship the debut album but flows right off Servants of Darkness. “Claws of Death” starts off stripped down and blasting then slows to a lumbering pace distinguished by the drum pattern with melodic leads mostly absent. Instead guitars throw in some well-placed hooks and otherwise just provide sonic discord. During “Storm of the Reaper”, he does not actually say it, but the words that pop into my head are the reaper is you and the reaper is me. One of my favorite passages on the album is the opening minutes of “Evil is Eternal” and “Belial’s Prey” is a melodic masterpiece. “No More Life” is the strongest, coolest song and epic by thrash standards. It is a perfect example of knowing when to let the music speak for itself. Hellbutcher just shuts up, and there is an absolutely perfect ending. If you must listen before buying find an mp3 of this song. When Envoy of Lucifer ended I felt the need to hit repeat.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
April 15th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: swampthang

    i heard bout these guys in terrorizer and had to check em out. i was hooked, good review good music


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