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Valdur - Divine Cessation

Divine Cessation
by Clarissa "Wulf" Wright at 05 February 2018, 7:22 AM

VALDUR are a black/death metal band, hailing from Mammoth Lakes, California.
What struck me first about VALDUR was their sharp and detailed artwork, showing mysteriously dark landscapes, as part of the release for “Divine Cessation” which was unleashed last year on the 1st of December.

Stepping in for a listen, I noticed the old school style from the first track “Breath of the Beast”. I found that the combination of death metal styles with a black metal roughnesss made this even more interesting though, particularly in the vocals. “Divine Cessation” has undulating bass and drums that reverberate like an earthquake. Deep, deathly vocals softly add ghastly air the scene, along with the ringing of sustained, tin-y guitars. VALDUR ooze out an old school death and doom style. Blast beats sink into the quaking background, before tom fills and double bass can be made out along with repeated riffs that fade out into oblivion.

“The Tail” is a doom-laden track where guitar riffs stretch out and seem to cause time to slow down. The sounding of bells adds some mysterious atmosphere half way through, as the repeated theme of this song’s main guitar riff brings the full song back towards the end, rounded off with china cymbal crashes, and touches of guitar distortions, raised in pitched.

“Plague Born of a Dying Black Star” begins deceivingly quietly, with a subtle sound of guitar, before the full band unleashes a grim atmosphere. In this song, the vocals sound a little more ‘black metal’ in parts, which is probably from “Sean Psykho Combat’s” guest vocal appearance on this track. The deep, doom vocals that have permeated the album so far still seem to be present in the background, contrasting well with the guest vocals in a dark duet.

“Potent Black Orb” also seems to intertwine the two vocal styles, this time with the deep doom style taking the lead on the front line. Guitars are even more so distorted with their tremolo effects and rhythmic sequences changing in tone and pitch. The ending of this song, (and of the album) was unexpected, with what sounds like computerized electronic effects. What this is I cannot be sure, but the band said that they avoid pro-tools, so perhaps this is the result of some kind of strange experimentation.

In the album “Divine Cessation”, VALDUR give out atmosphere of undulating energy yet, slow, doomy bleakness. Personally, I found “Plague Born of a Dying Black Star” to be the highlight, containing more chaotic elements within it and an interesting contrast between the vocal styles of both “JF” and “Sean Psykho Combat”. The sound is grainy and dusty, and heavy on the bass, recommendable for those who like their music raw.

Songwriting 6
Originality 6
Memorability 6
Production 5

3 Star Rating

1. Breath of the Beast
2. Divine Cessation
3. The Tail
4. Seething Disgust
5. Doomed
6. Plague Born of a Dying Star
7. Potent Black Orb
JF – Vocals
Vuke – Guitars
William – Bass
Matthew – Drums
Record Label: Bloody Mountain Records


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