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Nargaroth @ Phoenix.jpg
Nargaroth at Phoenix club, Saint Petersburg, 2014. Left to right: Obscura, Ash, Beliath.
Background information
GenresBlack metal
Years active1996–present
LabelsNo Colours, Inter Arma Productions
MembersRené "Kanwulf"/"Ash" Wagner
Past membersAkhenaten
Occulta Mors

Nargaroth is a German black metal band led by René "Ash" Wagner, formerly known as “Kanwulf”.


Wagner had earlier claimed that Nargaroth was formed in 1989, After getting numerous messages and questions about the LORDS OF CHAOS MOVIE I make this single and lasting statement: I will never ever watch that garbage! Not because I assume its quality or accuracy, but for the same reason I would never listen to Bathuska or any other nowadays hood'n costume band. Black Metal in Cinema, just as plastic casting bands with a rather commercial intention, stand against anything I believe(d) in Black Metal or we stood for in the 90's. Black Metal has become Disney~tized and it strips BM even more from any attitude and makes it an easy to 'digest' consumption good, just as all these Libtards that entered BM over 10 years ago intended, what drew thousands of hipster-liberal tofu suckers with gender issues into the scene. I am fully aware of that times change and that today Black Metal is a manifold of sub genres with listener from all walks of life, including those who not only have detached from the early days in BM, but also reject this past and attempt to rewrite history. I do not support this degeneration! I feel only drawn to the Black Metal I grew up with and the time I experienced throughout the 90's and my support ends with the beginning of this new, fucked up, liberal millennium. Since a long time Black Metal doesn't provide anymore what I once was seeking and made me drawn to it. Today BM is part of the Pop Culture and most of his protagonists have no appreciable values and are masters of creating images without substance – and the masses follow blindly. In 2009, when rumors about a BM movie portraying the happenings in Norway circled the scene, I wrote in an interview: if the rumors are true, then we'll have a generation of movies fans flooding into our art who will celebrate their movie-born admiration, detached from the music and its roots, contributing to its demise. And my thoughts to the surprise of some people why Mayhem eventually allowed to use their songs in this cinematic garbage are the same as to their involvement with that Myrkur nonsense: maybe they are just not the Black Metal Cult as so many think they are! You can call me whatever you want. It wont change my stance. I only wish that the degenerative development in Black Metal would have set in much earlier and the movie would have been out 20 years ago. Because then I would have never made it a part of my life and the hole its demise left inside of me after all went down the drain and which I fill with isolation and despise, wouldn't bother me so much. Yet in the end: all this is just an opinion puked into social media. And opinion are like assholes. Everyone got one. the seven-track instrumental demo Orke was released in 1991, and the demo Herbstleyd in 1993. Years later, after many accusations from the international BM scene he stated in his website ( that the genesis of Nargaroth was in 1996 after the band Exhuminenz, formed by himself, R.S., Charoon and Darken (not to be confused with Rob Darken of Graveland fame) split up. The aforementioned Nargaroth demo tapes were completed and recorded no earlier than 1998 with the aid of Charoon on guitar and a drum machine. Nargaroth's first album, Herbstleyd (Autumnal Suffering), was released by No Colours Records in December 1998, followed in 2000 by the Amarok compilation of older and unreleased material including the promo version of the song "Herbstleyd" and a Burzum cover, among others. The demo Fuck Off Nowadays Black Metal got released on the same year. This demo is said to be limited to 333 tapes and 100 LPs by the label Sombre Records; it was re-released by No Colours Records on picture LP limited to another 333 copies in 2005.

In 2001, No Colours Records released Black Metal ist Krieg, considered Kanwulf's dedication to black metal. This album spawned countless misconceptions for both the band and artist, most notably being labeled as a Nazi for including photographs of relatives of his that served in the Wehrmacht during WW2, this being meant as a dedication to his deceased family members, regardless of their political affiliations; and being labeled as an avid Burzum supporter for the song "The Day that Burzum Killed Mayhem" which only retells the story of the murder of the Mayhem leader Euronymous by the hands of the Burzum sole member, Count Grishnackh. It was followed in 2002 by Rasluka Part II, which along with Rasluka Part I, is dedicated to the memory of R.S. whose suicide in 1995 greatly affected Wagner. The third album, Geliebte des Regens (Beloved of the Rain), was recorded in the same sessions as the Rasluka series and got released in 2003. 2004 saw the release of the live album Crushing Some Belgian Scum, Rasluka Part I, and Prosatanica Shooting Angels. This last release was originally intended to be a side project of Wagner's called Prosatanica with the recording being called Shooting Angels. This record has plenty of jokes within it (many of which would go unnoticed by most people for the jokes not being of obvious nature) in both the music, layout and sometimes lyrical content too. The next album Semper Fidelis marked Wagner's parting of his former artistic persona of "Kanwulf" and the genesis and embrace of his new persona, simply "Ash", which has been his nickname since his childhood. This decision was taken as a means to estrange himself from the BM scene, which for the most part never understood his work; thus his new "Ash" persona would work as an artist with very little or rather no regard for any scene. It got released by No Colours Records in 2007 in regular jewel case CD and a box-set limited to 99 hand-numbered copies that included the CD, the double LP version of the album which included several bonus tracks, a DVD titled "Burning Leaf", a T-shirt and other things and personal effect of Wagner himself of which he felt the urge of getting rid of (e.g., the wedding ring of his first marriage).

Wagner played one show in Mexico and Guatemala in 2008.

In 2009, the album Jahreszeiten (Seasons) got released on A5 digibook version and double LP. The vinyl version contains spoken intros to each song, these intros are not included in the CD version. In 2009, he engaged in a full tour of South America and in 2010 he toured most Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) and gave a few extra shows in Colombia and Venezuela.

The most recent Nargaroth album, Spectral Visions of Mental Warfare, was released in 2011.

The name Nargaroth could, like other Black Metal bands such as Burzum and Gorgoroth be a name in a language created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Nargaroth then means something similar to "rat of the underground" or "rat horror" in the elven language Sindarin. The Encyclopaedia Metallum [1] launches another theory on the origins of the name. There, the name is said to be a composite of the word "narg" which is supposed to stand for nature in an unknown context and "Gorgoroth", as in the Black Metal band.

René Wagner[edit]

Wagner classifies his music as "German Hateful and Misanthropic Metal", not as black metal; he does so as he claims black metal is mainly influenced by Satanism whereas Nargaroth is not. Despite Wagner's denial, as the music resembles classic black metal and the emotional background and influence being an essence of black metal, Nargaroth is often seen as a black metal band. Wagner lives and promotes a lifestyle of voluntary celibacy, and claims to have never had sex.

While interviewed by "Magacinum ab ovo", Wagner said he sees Nazism as a mental restriction and that he had no fascist ideas because he was a supporter of the Kriegsgräberfürsorge, a German organization caring for graves of soldiers similar to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the MIA International.[2]



  1. ^ "Nargaroth - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  2. ^ Interview with Magacinum ab ovo, 1999 (in German); archived cached copy.

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