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Hildr Valkyrie – Revealing the Heathen Sun

Hildr Valkyrie
Revealing the Heathen Sun
by Mark Machlay at 01 June 2021, 6:59 AM

In a large step towards female empowerment in the male dominated world of metal, Hildr Valkyrie - the namesake of the band – who is based in Greece, is seeing a grand re-release of her second full-length record of folk/Viking metal “Revealing the Heathen Sun” originally released in 2017. Becoming disillusioned after pointless tries with other bands, Hildr Valkyrie ventured out on her own in 2003 and released her first self-financed CD “Deceitful Fate”  in 2004 to generally favorable reviews worldwide. She started work on a second collection – “To Walhall Shall Meet” – but, initially unhappy with the guitar sound worked with guitarist Alboin to re-record the album. Unfortunately, while it was better, the album would not be released and only rough versions pirated on the internet can be found. Valkyrie’s third collection would be her first full-length foray with 2008’s “Shield Brothers Of Valhalla” with the continued guitar help of Alboin as well as Aled Pashley of Wales. For several years after, Valkyrie would be part of several tribute albums, cover albums and collaborations with bands like FOLKEARTH, URUK HAI, FOLKODIA and KARKAV to name just a few. In some of those bands VALKYRIE has moved up from session singer to full time member, but she was still working to create something of her own.

That’s when 2017 came around and Valkyrie began her solo work again, which proved to be quite the busy year for her. Being a long-time fan of the project, she was asked to provide female vocals by Saverio Glove aka Nartum for his project EMYN MUIL on the album “Elenion Ancalima”. Then, towards the end of that year, her long-awaited second album in question was released on November 3rd under the Stygian Crypt label. She employed the help of fellow member of FOLKEARTH and FOLKODIA, Gianluca Tamburini for assistance on guitars, bass and drum programming. He is strangely credited as Jan Twothousandarrows for reasons I cannot understand. She also had Thiseas Lykos help on lyrics and Runahild Thrumublom of ELIWAGAR and RISING WINTER would join her as a second female vocalist on the 10th track “Summoning the Heathen Fire”. Initially, the album would only be released in Russia but is now receiving a new lease on life through a worldwide distribution deal with Moribund Records. She continues to play in both FOLKEARTH and FOLKODIA as well as joining black metal outfit SOLIS IN ANTRIS on their album “The Forlorn Warrior” in 2019.

Going into this album and seeing that the band is a self-proclaimed one woman outfit, HILDR VALKYRIE seemed like it may lack finesse, but I experienced quite the opposite on “Revealing the Heathen Sun”. The album begins with the rather mundane “The Primordial Sky God” which revels in repetitious Celtic folk chanting tradition. But the sound of thunder rumbles in for the introduction of “Over Lands, Mountains and Shade” and ushers in a droning, nearly symphonic metal track that hits you by surprise that soon settles into a more folk/Celtic track ala Viking Metal. “We Are Heathens” leans heavily toward power metal at the start but drops out for a piano melody interlude halfway through the song. By now, you may get the feeling that the style is a bit all over the place and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong in assuming that. Valkyrie herself has admitted on her Facebook that she writes music based on what her soul decides and so, the result is a giant melting pot mix of several styles. You’ll even hear both screaming black metal and more death metal vocal stylings on some of the tracks. It’s certainly an interesting ride and well worth the listen if you’re feeling a bit adventurous for more grandiose metal with female vocals.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Primordial Sky God
2. Over Lands, Mountains and Shade
3. We Are Heathens
4. Final Blot
5. The Rune’s Song
6. My Oath
7. An Ode to All Father Odhinn
8. Bringer of Life, Bearer of Fire
9. Sayings of the Higher Ones
10. Summoning the Heathen Fire
11. March to the Path for Walhall
Lineup:
Hildr Valkyrie – Everything
Record Label: Moribund Records
     


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