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Valborg – Der Alte

Der Alte
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 October 2022, 9:43 AM

From Bandcamp, “VALBORG creates dense, inventive music that escapes categorization. The trio's blunt, forceful songs are at once raw yet hold a nihilistic sophistication that forges clouds of nightmarish atmosphere, giving them a narcotic, dreamlike feel that very few bands achieve.” “Der Alte” is the band’s eighth album, and contains 13 songs.

“Asbach” is the first. It sounds like Black Metal to me, especially considering the vocals. The music…not so much…but at first listen I am not ready to call this music that defies categorization or with a “dreamlike” feeling, but let’s keep listening. “Höhle Hölle” gets little more creative with the music. The sound is still very heavy, and depressing, and the vocals are shrieks of pain and anger. “Urecho” is again a little different sounding. The trick is creating something scary that is organic in the music. The weighted bottom end does that pretty well, and the spoken words are anguishing.

“Saturn Eros Xenomorph” is another chaotic offering of deadly vocals and even deadlier music. I like the atmosphere they develop in this song. It’s totally nihilistic, especially from the clean vocals. “Hektor” is a very short song with a hasty feeling, like someone is chasing you and you are running for your life from it, but every time you turn around, it gets closer and closer. The title track features thumpy bass notes under a bed of steady guitar notes, with shouted vocals. The guitars begin an ascent, and then back off. The effect is has on the listener is one of goosebumps on your spine. “Sehnsucht nach Unendlichkeit” has some of that dreamlike feeling they talked about earlier. It’s bad dream, no a nightmare really, but it still makes you feel like you are only half-awake, and the things you witness leave you speechless. The steady guitar and bass rhythms provide much of those feelings.

“Mortum” is a shorter song with all the intricacies of a serial killer preparing to continue his spree. He awakes at night, performs several rituals as he always does, like the what he eats and the way he dresses, and spends an inordinate amount of time sharpening his killing utensils. “Mutter des bösen Sterns” brings the album to a close. The harrowing sound rings in your ears, and wherever you are being held captive, there will be no escape. Your captor has made sure of that. As that feeling sinks in, you feel panic at first, then as you come to grips with the gravity of the situation, you just give up inside. At first listen, you think that the band is just setting out chaotic songs without much meaning. But, the deeper you listen, the more you pick up on. There is depth, and layers of different experiences they take you through. But all of it is black, death, and nothing in the end. It’s the perfect nightmare scenario.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Asbach
2. Höhle Hölle
3. Kommando aus der Zukunft
4. Urecho
5. Die Glut der ersten Stunde
6. Saturn Eros Xenomorph
7. Hektor
8. Der Alte
9. Attacke
10. Sehnsucht nach Unendlichkeit
11. Mortum
12. Verdacht im Palast
13. Mutter des bösen Sterns
Jan Buckard – Vocals, Bass
Christian Kolf – Vocals, Guitars
Florian Toyka – Drums
Record Label: Lupus Lounge


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Edited 05 June 2023

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