Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Valborg: "Romantik"

I finally got around to checking out this German band whose album has been sitting in my in-box for sometime. The album came out yesterday and the first thing that impressed me about it a few minutes after pressing play was how dark it is. For me dark trumps heavy. If you can give me a good dark atmosphere then I will cut you some slack if you pack less of a punch in doing so. The play a gloomy doom that seems to have it's roots in black metal. The vocals switch from a whispered rasp to a low chant. The album sounds great. The synths are way up front in the mix which might be a dealer breaker for some. "Blitz Aus Sodom" keeps a similar pace but with more form to the song. It drones along with an interesting interplay in how the synth melody is intertwined in the guitar .

On "Comtesse" the synth melody reminds me of one of the darker turns the Labyrinth soundtrack takes. When the sung vocals come in they add a lot to the song. For some reason I did not think these guys were going to be this doomy, so I am happily surprised by that.The initial impression of "Sulphur Vitriol Angel" is that I'm not as engaged into the almost shoe gaze melody floats in.It's clearly another Labyrinth moment. The following song only separates itself from the previous song with the more operatic male vocals . At this point they sound like a less industrial version of Rammstein. The vocals take a turn into a more tortured black metal rasp on "the Haunted Womb" which closes the album. There are some dbsm like croaks and gurgles, that blackened the atmosphere.This isn't black gaze , but will appeal to many of those fans. It does have almost a dark wave element to it that puts it much further down the left hand path than some one like the Deafheaven.

This is a beautiful album, rather simplistic in the scope of the song writing, but has some really impressive movements. The synths are so in your face that it softens things and brings more light into the picture, but they always return to the shadows. I'll give it an 8.5

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