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Nazghor - Seventh Secular Crusade

Seventh Secular Crusade
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 February 2023, 4:34 AM

NAZGHOR is a black metal band from Sweden, who formed in 2012.  “Seventh Secular Crusade,” is their seventh full length album.  I haven’t heard their music before so I cannot speak to their past but this particular album is one part intense black metal that is rage filled audio in perpetual motion and another part melodic blackened beauty. The way the band utilizes melody and atmosphere is nothing short of astonishing—it is melded into the very meat of the album, used to incorporate the songs as not a distraction but instead another bludgeoning too.  From the beginning to the end of the seven track, forty minute ride, the album rarely slows down for a breather.  When it does, there is barely time to catch your breath before it rockets into another burning, hellish jam.

The production is on point—powerful and raw enough for the genre but allowing plenty of breathing room for all the instruments to do their part in the song. The album beings with ambient/symphonic tones of the “Massive Omen Paradox.” Clean guitar and chanting joins the mix as the seconds pass by to the 1:15 mark where the song explodes.  Rapid fire drumming and melodic but searing riffs swirl through the atmosphere. It is all surprisingly catchy, each moment being filled with a note—this song, and the album itself, uses every precious second, filling itself to the brim with blackened armageddon.

The song gets more intense as it goes—just when it seems they hit a plateau, another barrier is broken through and the song hurdles forward. “A Crown Soaked In Blood,” is laden with a dense, pulsing base and undeniable groove.  In between these riffs, quick bursts of speed are added, making the song sound all the more chaotic and urgent. The riffs during the chorus are balanced between riffs and melody, the band never letting go of their barbaric undertones. "Beyond The Grave, " dials back the tempo for a pace that, while not as demanding, captures every little detail.  And how about that chorus? An earworm if I ever heard one and the passage afterwards is beautiful. I like the ending a lot too, the last remnants of distortion fading away to a clean outro. Wonderful.

The title track ends the album—and what an ending it is! Gentle waves are soon replaced by an ominous tone. This, in turn, becomes more epic by the second. This is how a song should build up! The overall feel of the music is tragic but the scope is huge. By the song's mid section, the speed has returned, pushed out of the gate by the drums. The last couple minutes wind the song down with melancholic layers before fading out to the shores. All in all, NAZGHOR's "Seventh Secular Crusade," is a pleasant surprise for me and I enjoyed my time with it greatly.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Massive Omen Paradox
2. Fulminating Fire
3. A Crown Soaked in Blood
4. Sons of Shadows
5. Beyond the Grave
6. Primordial Lineage
7. Seventh Secular Crusade
Armageddor - Guitars
Nekhrid - Vocals
Angst - Guitars
Galthran - Bass
Jester J - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 25 March 2023

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