In Europe Nargaroth is regarded as a joke, perhaps due to mainman Kanwulf's often bizarre and outspoken opinions, skewed self history, and his appearance on a tabloid talk show. There is even a whole site dedicated to discrediting Kanwulf and Nargaroth. But let's set all this controversy aside for a minute and judge Nargaroth solely on the merit of the first album Herbstleyd. We hear a roaring fire, witches in song, the clang of swords and shields, and some dialogue in German before the title track "Herbstleyd" kicks in with its plodding tempo and wispy keyboards. Overall Nargaroth's sound here sort of bridges the gap between Burzum and Gorgoroth. The riffs are fantastic even if they aren't particularly challenging or fresh. Herbstleyd is about as good as German black metal records get, I really don't understand Kanwulf's need to surround himself in controversy and provocation. It seems distracting.