Sunday, September 19, 2010

Valdur - Raven God Amongst Us

My first encounter with Valdur was when I received the three way split they where featured on with Massemord and The Frost. Valdur was the only band on the split that was worth listening to as there music stood out as pure quality. Now the time has come that I was able to receive a copy of the second album Raven God Amongst Us to review. Eight songs are on the album with one intro and the entire album is quality material the overall production is raw, but clear and decent as well.

Great Abyss Unfold is a track that destroys anything in its path with black metal malevolence hard hitting drums, blast beats and freezing guitar melodies. Gravlagt I Morkets Natt! is a hypnotic track from start to finish that is full of aggressiveness. Med Fjell I Horisonten begins real clean and slow but during the track the beast turns into a different form the cymbal work stands out loud and clear. Berserrker has a militant battle atmosphere to it the guitars in this song are punishing the vocal work is rite on par with everything else on Berserrker. The remaining songs are good tracks with no filler to be found anywhere. Creation is a black metal instrumental at the beginning and a good way for Valdur to close out the album.

Hopefully Valdur will release a new album soon and for USBM Valdur is placed high at the top with few other bands. Valdur is band to keep an eye out for because I am sure you will be hearing more about the band as times goes on. Raven God Amongst Us was recorded and mixed at Trench Studios the album was mastered at Morbid Mastering. Check Bloody Mountain Records to order a copy of Raven God Amongst Us.

Rating 9.8/10

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ophis- Withered Shades

Withered Shades by Ophis is there 2010 release and also second full length album. My first encounter with Ophis came in the form of the first release Stream of Misery, upon putting Withered Shades in my CD player I noticed how much Ophis had improved their musicianship overall. Don't get me wrong Stream of Misery the last album definitely kicked some ass that is for certain. Ophis plays death/doom metal that crushes your inner soul and leaves you with nothing, but scares and bruises from the sheer heaviness and atmosphere of the songs.

Withered Shades was recorded, mixed and mastered at 3rd A. Studio. The Halls of Sorrow has a number of various tempo's that include clean guitars, fast guitars and also trademark doom guitar crushing. Pieces of death metal can also be noticed as well with Halls of Sorrow the song is plainly epic lasting fourteen minutes and thirty eight seconds. Guest vocals by Seuche are featured on Suffering is a Virtue. Suffering is a Virtue is one of the strongest songs on Withered Shades musically as the guitars is what hooked me on song for a few repeated listens. The death metal growls are deep and menacing, also one of the shortest songs on the album around nine minutes and thirty-seven seconds that carries the brutal pace to keep up with the other four remaining songs. Earth Expired jolts along at mid tempo pace and here is where the doom moments come through during I would also like to point out there is some excellent bass playing in the song like an instrumental with the guitars playing as well. Withered Shades is one of those releases where every song is a standout track, so at times this makes picking out a strong song very hard. After a couple of listens as mentioned earlier in the review the strongest song to me is Suffering is a Virtue.

Withered Shades is going on my top-ten list, I would recommend Withered Shades to listeners of Mourning Beloveth, Evoken, etc.......... or any death/doom metal band. This is where suffering is born.

Rating 10/10