Alghazanth - Eight Coffin Nails
Woodcut Records
Black Metal
9 songs (51' 18")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Andy

Starting in the mid-90s, Finland's Alghazanth has had a long and illustrious history, including a vocal stint by Swallow the Sun vocalist Mikko Kotamäki on one of their best albums. 22 years later after their start as a band comes their final installment, the appropriately-named Eight Coffin Nails. Other bands have since taken up the melodic wall of sound that was their approach to black metal, but Alghazanth hasn't lost its touch; the band is quitting with a flourish on this one.

Without being a full-on "symphonic" band, there is nonetheless a symphonic vibe in the music with all the layering they do. Their use of keyboard and occasional choral background vocals adds to this effect, which is mixed nicely together in a way that showcases everything from the stubby thumping bass to the exquisite drumming of founding member Gorath Moonthorn. The melodies take their time to develop, smoothly unfolding into a greater theme as the tracks build up. For those who hadn't heard Alghazanth outside the Kotamäki era, Thasmorg sounds deeper and more authoritive, a rough growl as opposed to Goat Tormentor's wild shriek.

The melodies are some of the best parts, and offer a wild variety of cold death marches punctuated by blasting charges of fury. At Their Table is one of my favorites, a straightforward assault with a keyboard soundtrack soaring up above it, but the blinding tremolo-picking of Facing the North is very good too. They even do some more drawn-out, wistful pieces, a little like recent Imperium Decadenz, though no one could mistake even the more-emotional Aureate Water for anything with the same warmth as a sample of that band's work. Alghazanth may be throwing in the towel, but they haven't gotten soft, even if their lyrics no longer overtly consist of praises to the Prince of Darkness.

The longer but still-rewarding To Flames the Flesh completes the saga of a melodic black metal band that is finishing on a high note, with a final treat for their listeners. Most black metal fans, and especially fans of melodic BM, need to give this a spin.


Killing Songs :
Facing the North, Aureate Water, At Their Table
Andy quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Alghazanth that we have reviewed:
Alghazanth - Wreath of Thevetat reviewed by Alex and quoted 91 / 100
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