Mammoth Lakes, California’s three-piece blackened death metal outfit Valdur is back with their third full-length release, “At War With,” after their more traditional black metal sophomore release of “Raven God Amongst Us.” With sounds that are similar to other bands in small pieces, but all their own, Valdur is sure to become a household name in black metal one day soon. Forget that the band comes from sunny California. “At War With” still brings that icy feel that traditional black metal bring along with the fury and aggression of death metal that we hear in their songs.
“At War With” opens with an ominous intro entitled Enter leading into the anger-filled piece Conjuring the Fire Plagues. From this point all hell is unleashed on the listener with no remorse and no excuses. Songs like Death Winds Will Cleanse pummel the listener at times while setting that bleak, desolate atmosphere that always works for me.
Valdur proves themselves to be plenty capable with their instruments throughout “At War With.” Matthew’s drumwork is spot on and his tandem with William forms a solid battery while Samuel handles guitars and vocals, both of which are handled exceptionally. Vocals are always my sticking point with a lot of newer bands, but Samuel proves himself to be more than capable vocally.
The production values on “At War With” are raw, but still handled very well. The sound is gritty as you would expect, but each instrument is clear enough where you hear each section well enough. I am especially fond of the pounding bass lines on Incantre.
Black metal purists will scoff at Valdur simply because of the band residing in California, but you need to look past that. Metal is for everyone from everywhere, so black metal purists need to get past their problem. As much as I like the classics from overseas back in the day, I also like bands with a fresh perspective, and Valdur brings just that.
“At War With” was released through Bloody Mountain Records on December 17, 2013, so go get yourself some of this and support metal. This is a pretty nice look at what blackened death metal can be if you look past the homelands of the band.
At War With Track Listing:
2. Conjuring the Fire Plagues
3. Death Winds Will Cleanse
6. At War with the Old World
7. The Calm Before War
8. Hellish Dischord
9. Hammer Pit
10. Outro (Creation pt. II)
William – Bass
Matthew – Drums
Samuel â€“ Guitars / Vocals
Record Label: Bloody Mountain Records