December 7, 2013

Filthy Music Review - 'Valdur: At War With'

Valdur - At War With (2013) 

BloodyMountain Records.

Review by Trevor Proctor

Valdur are a three piece black/death group from Mammoth Lakes, California and this is only their third full length release despite enjoying their tenth anniversary during 2013. At War With was recorded at California’s Earhammer studios with Greg Wilkinson in charge of production.

The album will be released on 17th December via Bloody Mountain Records but the band aren’t giving much away about its sound – drummer Matt recently stated “I'm not very comfortable trying to put Valdur's music into words, but I think that what is important is that we have the luxury of doing what we want, when we want... and in the end, it will be our music and artwork that will do all the talking." The good thing for the listener is this is certainly an album where the music does the talking – and it’s talking that’s well worth listening to. The album commences with hostile, evil synths, spoken word samples and sound effect as an intro but it’s when track two, Conjuring the fire plagues begins that Valdur reveal their twisted concoction of blackened death metal.

Vast is an intriguing addition, the churchlike choir singing at the start is soon replaced by furious, precise drumming and dreamy background guitar work. It’s only really an intro to the title track which follows - it’s an eight minute mini tour of the album as Valdur switch styles and speed at will during this beast of a track that fully showcases Valdur’s musical flexibility and variation.

There’s plenty on this album to ensure it never becomes repetitive or monotonous - cleverly placed samples, atmospheric synths, spoken word segments. It’s this variation in sound that appeals most and ensures Valdur’s music catches the listener’s attention more than many current releases. Hellish Discord is another quality track – beginning with a brilliant quote from Blade Runner’s Roy Batty “quite an experience to live in fear isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.” A heartbeat effect follows, bringing us into another five minutes of Valdur’s blackened death – the breakdown halfway through and ensuing black metal assault are pure genius and a definite highlight of the album.

Currently there are plenty of great death/black bands here in the UK but Valdur’s release shows us the Americans have plenty to offer and the future of the genre worldwide is looking more promising than ever. I really enjoyed this album and wish Valdur every well-deserved success with it.


1. Enter
2. Conjuring the Fire Plagues
3. Death Winds Will Cleanse
4. Incantre
5. Vast
6. At War with the Old World
7. The Calm Before War
8. Hellish Dischord
9. Hammer Pit
10. Outro (Creation pt. II)

At War With is released by BloodyMountain Records on December 17th.

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