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Vargrav – The Nighthold

As momentous as those two full-lengths have been, VARGRAV arguably eclipse both with their third album, The Nighthold. With a lineup that now includes the notorious Graf Werwolf von Armageddon on vocals and Moonsorrow members Trollhorn of the Black Harvest on guitars/bass and Baron M. Tarwonen on drums, VARGRAV’s swirling, cosmic surge has never been more potent; their attack is both sharper and dreamier, crystal-clear and opaque simultaneously. That added clarity creates more immediacy as The Nighthold kicks in, for the aggression of old is kicked into overdrive here and the synths take on a truly orchestral aspect. It’s not for nothing that the album is a full hour in length: everything here sounds (and feels) HUGE, one massive velvety purple landscape of stained-glass visions as far as the third eye can see. And all 12 tracks are threaded together in a plausibly cinematic manner; while each is mighty in its own respective right, VARGRAV sequence every song with artistic flair and high drama, concluding the immersive experience with a daresay-soulful guitar solo during the coda of “Creator of the True Realm” that then segues into the nearly-10-minute big-screen instrumental “Ghostlands.” What film or filmic realm one enters into (or leaves) is entirely up to the listener…The Nighthold is boundless!


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