Bloodshed Walhalla [Italy]
The Battle will Never End
With a name like Bloodshed Walhalla, anyone familiar with the history of extreme metal would already know what to expect from this Italian viking metal horde. Band mastermind Drakhen also doesn’t shy away from proudly wearing his major influence on his sleeve, proudly proclaiming Bloodshed Walhalla to be a Bathory cover band at the same time on the band’s Facebook page, and indeed, this influence is also rather clear from the visuals of the band’s most recent release, The Battle Will Never End.
The themes of nature and wilderness is clear, as instrumental opening track Heimdallr‘s epic soundscape quickly transports one into a vast winterlands through Drakhen’s folkish riffings, as well as the sounds of wind howling and thunder at the background, and this is indeed a nice introduction to Bloodshed Wahalla‘s music. Blood and Fire perhaps shows the Bathory influences of the band most clearly, and apart from the seeming influence from Blood Fire Death in the naming of the track, the entire instrumentation and atmosphere that is conjured would also fit into the black/folk-era of the aforementioned, as Drakhen cleverly makes use of acoustic guitars to complement the rest of the instruments on the track. The alternating between gruff, blackened vocals and the intentionally, slightly off-key singing even reminds one of Quorthon‘s style of singing, further strengthening that Bathory comparison.
At the same time, there are also the more epic, heroic touches that are put into Bloodshed Walhalla‘s music, with some moments even giving the album a tinge of the dark, folk metal of Vintersorg or Borknagar. The recent exposure to bands such as Nokturnal Mortum and Drudkh also got me more sensitive to the whole range of sounds that are present on the album, and careful listening to The Battle Will Never End often proves to be interesting with the flurry of activities that are happening at the same time at any one point of the album, especially with the inclusion of soaring melodic leads, as well as the vast variety of influence that have gone into the melting pot of Bloodshed Walhalla‘s work.
Quorthon may have left this realm for 10 years, but with quality viking metal releases such as Bloodshed Walhalla‘s The Battle Will Never End paying tribute to the legends, one can be assured that his legacy lives on.