Valdur – Raven God Amongst Us
Bloody Mountain Records
Hailing from California, Valdur finally offer up their first proper full-length album after a hand of split releases and EPs. The band has been around for about five years now, having released their first demo in 2005.
Raven God Amongst Us features nine tracks of speedy black metal. The guitars feature rapid fire riffs set over even faster rapid fire drum beats and a lot of double kick-drum. The songs are actually short by black metal standards all clocking in at less than five minutes and they stick with the traditional instrumentation and don’t bother with keyboards or any female vocals either which makes for less variety but makes up for it with its darker and more sinister feel.
The songwriting on this is pretty solid and Valdur craft some fine black metal with very slight death metal influences. The guitars are solid and driving, the only blemish on this album is the production which is muddy even by black metal standards (a genre that somehow prides itself on muddy production). The muddy production does work to its favor in the fact it makes the album feel more murky, but I can’t help but think that this would actually sound even more powerful if they had better production values. It’s not enough to turn off the listener, but sometimes it makes you want to reach for the EQ and see if you can’t clean it up yourself. Overall though it is a fine example of modern black metal from a band that deserves some more attention.