Lovingly pinched from Metal Review: Dissecting a Valborg release–or Valborg in general–is a daunting dask. Unquestionably, they’re one of the weirdest bands in metal; but not in that bullshit, pseudo-avant-garde, watch-us-set-ourselves-on-fire! Unexpect vein. No, Valborg deploys their oddity far more subtly, but that doesn’t make them any less difficult to quantify.
The more straightfoward moments on their previous efforts, Glorification of Pain and Crown of Sorrow, paired a Celtic Frost lurch n’ lumber with a tempered, Godfleshian clang n’ thwack. (The smoky-smooth ‘Whispers of the Wizard’ and the sewer-dwelling ‘Wisdom From The Vortex’ are the chief purveyors of this amalgamation.) However, this thread refuses to remain constant. Valborg likes to keep things off-kilter, whether on the severely detuned ‘Eerie and Old’ (which begat the seldom-used “elderly” vocal style) or the sprawling, arena progstomp of ‘I Am Space.’ Thus, their reputation for boulder-hurling preceeds Barbarian‘s arrival.
If you’ve followed these past two Valborg outings (and the band’s deliberately exclusive distribution methods make that relatively unlikely), you’ll greet Barbarian with dueling perspectives. The band has established a singular sound for itself: Distant, yet phenomenally phrased drumming; that aforementioned affinity for Tom G’s tones; and a pronounced focus on creating a greyed-out, swarming-cold atmosphere. Yet, despite these traits, one never really knows what to expect. Compositionally, these fuckers are off the goddamn wall. Often, they’re also brilliant.
Barbarian‘s first true track, ‘Astral Kingdom’, is a force, showcasing Valborg’s uncanny ability to pummel whilst creating space. (Imagine a verse / chorus Blut aus Nord grinding down on some vintage Sisters of Mercy.) ‘Battlefield of Souls’ boasts a proto-death stomp and a mean-ass main riff, and then….
…things trail off for a bit.
Continue reading: Review of Valborg – Barbarian | Metal Review.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 7:05 am and is filed under Album of the Day, Roadburn Recommended . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.