At War With
Bloody Mountain Records
After a shift to more traditional black metal territory on their sophomore album Raven God Amongst Us, American extreme metal outfit Valdur this year shifts back to a more predominantly death metal sound on their third full length album, At War With.
Album opener Enter quickly sets up an ominous mood, with the spoken samples and the haunting keyboards, along with the rather filthy background. As the first riffs of Conjuring the Fire Plagues greet the listener, one instinctively knows that he is in for one hell of a ride. The heavily trem-picked riffs of Samuel marks a distinct departure from the trebly riffs on Raven God Amongst Us, and quickly reminds one of the crushing, oppressive style of bands such as old school death metal legends Incantation. The filthy and heavy atmosphere also brings in some comparisons to bands such as Grave Miasma and Vasaeleth, ensuring that At War With remains as abrasive and disturbing an album as possible.
At the same time, in keeping with the namesake of the album, the rhythmic section of bassist Satan’s Chainsaw and drummer Lord Suxperion also ensure that the belligerent streak of Valdur‘s music remains clear, displaying their dominance over whoever they are at war with. This especially so with the drumming of Lord Suxperion, whose commanding presence and heavy punishing on the skins add much of the energy and impact to the music on At War With.
With all the intensity on At War With, the band also does not forget their black metal roots, and this is evident in the riffing of Samuel, and the cold melodies that are present on tracks like Death Winds Will Cleanse, adding that slight sense of desperation, as though At War With weren’t disturbing enough as it already is. Tracks like these also bring in some hints of Norwegian black metal, rather reminiscent of even Mayhem and the likes.