Valdaudr – Drapsdalen

Band: Valdaudr
Title: Drapsdalen
Label: Soulseller Records
Release date: 26 February 2021
Country: Norway 
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

If you needed a taste of nineties Norwegian black metal, then Valdaudr serves it up in large metal sized portions from their debut album “Drapsdalen”.  You are full on the vocal and recording styles from that magical time in metal, and it’s a nostalgic, meaty mouthful. Metalheads who followed the bands from that country at that time will relate to the sound and feel of this album. 

People new to this band will get a sense of what the era of black metal was in the nineties, but also see that there is more happening than a re-visitation of that time. Instead, it’s reaching and embracing of the band to more of what they envision for their sound to be.  

The history of this band begins in 2000 with Død, the guitar player (of Blood Red Throne, ex Satyricon member) forming a band called Cobolt 60, with the original lead singer of Blood Red Throne,  Mr. Hustler. They released a debut album in 2002 and a full-length in 2012. 

Within those years some live performances were produced, but due to some creative differences, the Cobolt 60 project was done in 2018. Død had written songs for the next Cobolt 60 album and at that time decided to give this to a new band and also join strengths and talents with the bassist and second singer, Vald, also of “Blood Red Throne”.  The birth of Valdaudr was at hand and metal explorations were afoot.  

So, current members are Død, guitars/base, Vald, Vocals/lyrics, and drums for this album were handled by Rune Nesse from (Taake-live).  Now let’s see what the tracks are like.

The first, “Liket Skulle Vaert Brent”, frenzied riffs, and that vocal embodying an evil, scratchy growl. Slower tempo of guitars comes in midway, drums are a strong, ponderous rhythm.  Before long you are thrown back into the high-speed black metal style of drumming and guitar riffing.  This track hits the “nineties” feel.  Evil, cold, and without remorse for those others who don’t consider this to be music.  

The second, “Trass og Vrede”, the beginning is more melodic, a head-banging beat to the power of the drums that sink in.  Tremolos and speed.  Love the vocal, at the end of one lyric “Vlad'” sings a hahaha.  So good! More fury in the guitars and frenetic speed. 

The third, “Evig Langt Inn I Tiden”, starts is an icy feeling, more atmospheric and suspense building, to oh that black metal.  Slower guitar tempo, but just as engaging.  

The fourth, “Den Evige Lld”, oh yeah, picking up some thrash in this! Can’t help but nod along to this, very fast addictive beat. A segment of clean vocals to the scratchy guttural of the lead singer breaks this up.  Some melodies present that is folk-inspired.  Then, the thrash style comes back towards in and just kicks ass. 

The fifth, “Du Vantro og Vrange”, I must say, this one didn’t hit me over the head, but I will note the continuing excellence of musicianship and vocals.  

The sixth, “Drapsdalen”, the title track.  Some death metal inspiration here is the echoed vocals.  I think the elements of this track and the differences work to showcase what Valdaudr is looking for as a future sound.  

The seven, “Kom Bestig Vaane Fjell”, beautiful picking of guitar strings as an intro to this last track.  Then, a dive into black metal.  So great the contrast and it succeeds. Clean folksy, singing to the cold edged vocal of the lead singer.  This to me is uncompromised black metal with a melding and re-creating, embracing the differences, but never abandoning the roots of their beginnings. Rapid riffing, relentless drumming, and folk/thrash influences can be heard here.  If you need a taste of 90’s black metal, with a band willing to expand on their strong history from past work, then “Valdaudr” deserves a listen. I give 7/10 Metal Marie

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