Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nazgûl - De Expugnatione Elfmuth

Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Country: Italy
Year: 2002
Label: Elegy Records

In a continuing "for fans of Summoning" theme, I bring you Italy's Nazgûl. My favourite thing about this album is that it is basically the Warcraft II soundtrack set to metal. That's the Warcraft II from 1995 when the franchise was still dark and totally ruled, and being my all-time favourite video game soundtrack by a long shot, De Expugnatione Elfmuth's striking resemblance to it immediately won it a special place in my heart. Let me get the negatives away right off the bat: the vocals take some getting used to, to put it gently. Also, the lyrics are all in Latin because the band felt it added an epic touch, and it might have were we able to understand a word of it. That aside, the music completely fucking owns. Basically, it's black metal drenched in a kick-ass MIDI orchestra that gives the songs a really cool swords-and-sorcery feeling. The arrangements themselves are actually extremely well-done, and repeated listens reveal subtle complexity to the orchestrations that make this album a real treat to listen to. The Italian duo actually do pull of an extremely epic sound with their music, and it's really great for getting that MIDI-driven medieval fantasy atmosphere that only a small cadre of bands seem to be able to pull off well. Oh, and to top it all off, it's pretty much a concept album about a bunch of orcs committing elf genocide, which is awesome, because we all know that elves suck.

For fans of Summoning, Elffor, and Sear Bliss.

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