Monday, July 16, 2007

Valkyrja - The Invocation Of Demise (2007)

Debut album from Swedes Valkyrja (Old Norse for valkyrie) is another entry into the burgeoning "clean" black metal market exemplified by 1349 et al. Kicking off with the military marching snare and thundering double pedal of 'Origin Reversed' we're steadily pummeled into submission before the familiar buzzsaw onslaught of 'As Everything Rupture'. Familiarity here is the key for the most part; relentless double pedal action, blast beats in all the right places, crunching, soaring guitar with occasional acoustic intro, aggressive snarling and rumbling bass.

Just when it begins to verge on the formulaic in drops the melo-doom-esque closing solo of 'The Vigil', whilst the subtle acoustic undercurrent of 'On Stillborn Wings' draws comparison to Opeth's more aggressive tendancies. Indeed, the guitar tone and subtly progressive elements throughout are further reminiscent of their cardigan sporting Swedish compatriots.

The Invocation Of Demise doesn't exactly break any boundaries and won't be winning any originality awards. However, it's certainly another well executed and uncompromising debut designed to be played at neighbour aggravating volumes.


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