CD Review: ‘At War With’ by Valdur

Never before have these corpse painted Frankensteins felt so prominent and plentiful.


Review by David Feltman

Ever since Deafheaven became critical darlings, tinkering with hybrid variations of black metal has become a popular pastime. Well, maybe that’s not fair to say. Throwing black metal in the blender with other sub-genres has always made for fun experiments, just ask Hunter Hunt-Hendrix. But never before have these corpse painted Frankensteins felt so prominent and plentiful. Enter Valdur, a martial-minded black/death metal monster that enjoys the technical rhythms and melodic penchants of death metal with the coarse Cookie Monster vocals of black metal.

While there are a lot of fun black metal mash ups out there, Valdur’s brand isn’t one of them. The black metal growls too often drown out anything energetic and exciting the rest of the band might be doing. But that might be wishful thinking, as the bits of the melody that aren’t covered up by the Cookie Monster crunch are lifelessly repetitive. And the cool echoey/chanty samples the band occasionally utilizes for intros are crudely dropped on top of tracks rather than woven into the song.

Black and death metal might be a heavenly beer and chocolate or Siracha, and (really you can put anything here because, you know, Siracha!!!) combination in the hands of another band, but Valdur is definitely missing the right recipe. While the military march aesthetic is intriguing, it’s implementation is half-baked on At War With and the beat too often disintegrates into typical blast beats. If you’re into the black metal hybrid thing, your time would be better spent with Liturgy, Culted or Indian (new reviews on those last two coming soon). Sadly, Valdur is the worst thing an artist can be: boring.

You can find more about Valdur at Bandcamp and Facebook.

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