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Valdrin - Effigy of Nightmares Award winner

Effigy of Nightmares
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 11 June 2020, 4:29 AM

The Extreme Metal scene in the USA gave to the world many excellent bands in the past, those that are legends into underground. Since the 80’s, United States bands as POSSESSED, DEATH, OBITUARY, DEICIDE, ABSU, MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE and many more created a national tradition to make excellent works. And VALDRIN, from Cincinnati (Ohio) inherits this DNA, as their third full length called “Effigy of Nightmares” shows.

They can be called a Melodic Black Metal band, but that uses many Thrash Metal and Black Metal elements as well (as can be heard on Thrashy guitar riffs on “Red Burning Candles of Hatred”), and rich in contrasts. Their musical way seems a little with what ANCIENT did on “The Cainian Chronicle” age, but with a personal insight, and an ample use of keyboards arrangements to temper the natural aggressiveness. Filled with very good melodies, an amazing energy level and a good technique touch, everything sounds inspired and refreshing, so it’s very good release. The production is in a good level to let the quartet to express their musical ideas, but keeping the insight that a Black Metal band with such personality needs to have a crude touch on the instrumental tunes. It could be done in a better way, but the final result is extremely positive, because it can be understood easily.

“Exsanguination Tunnels” has a very good set of musical contrasts between harsh extreme moments with melodic parts (the interaction between guitars and keyboards arrangements is really inspired), as “Red Burning Candles of Hatred” shows a darkened beauty due its morbid tempos and chaotic melodies (that shows a technical and rhythmically solid work from bass guitar and drums). “Basilisk of Light” brings back the elements of “Exsanguination Tunnels”, but with a horror-like ambiance created by keyboards (and what a very good work from the shrieked vocals). And “Down the Oubliette of Maelstrom” lasts more than eight minutes, contrasting some technical parts with very good funereal melodic parts. “Gates of Hospice” and “Serpentine Bloodhalls” are incidental themes used to create oppressive atmospheric moments. What? Only six songs? This album could have more songs, because everything is precious, seductive and creative!

“Effigy of Nightmares” is a darkened and morbid piece of art made Black Metal, and maybe VALDRIN can become a leading force, because their musical talent is amazing.

Musicianship: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Gates of Hospice
2. Exsanguination Tunnels
3. Red Burning Candles of Hatred
4. Serpentine Bloodhalls
5. Basilisk of Light
6. Down the Oubliette of Maelstrom
Carter Hicks - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Colton Deem - Guitars
James Lewis - Bass
Ryan Maurmeier - Drums
Record Label: Blood Harvest Records


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