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Valfreya - Path To Eternity

Path To Eternity
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 05 November 2012, 2:04 PM

Through the oaken green of the forgotten darkened woods of forlorn Canada there are many trees, little squirmy dwarfs, numerous golden fortunes and many tales of ancient glories and interesting lore. I am sure that if writers such as J.R. Tolkien or H.P. Lovecraft were alive today, they would have probably demanded hefty royalties for the usage of their originated themes because other than books, Metal has been using the old wretched faces, sites and scenes from the written words for years and it seems that there is not end to what is stored within the huge vault of stories. I have to acknowledge that this is plainly remarkable, a never ending source of material, good for us Metalheads to use it, because the wayward rappers won’t. Better bands like the Black / Folk Metal or probably Viking Metal group of VALFREYA than other acts from the shitty Pop or the lousy Hip Hop worlds. Following the endless paths into new universes, alternate realities filled with ancient Norse mythology tales and majestic spheres, the Canadians released their debut album “Path To Eternity” via their new label, Maple Metal Records. I will tell you that, I felt the cold chills of the northern horizons in my face but still I could help myself to a burning bonfire to listen to the aggressiveness and musical talent that VALFREYA shared.

Picking up the pace in veins of older bands such as WINTERSUN, EMPEROR, DARKTHRONE, MOONSORROW, ARKONA and some of the lucidness of CHILDREN OF BODOM, ENSIFERUM and NORTHER, this band chose to sharpen their axes and take on their enemies with fists of steel without too much sitting around and just spreading their words with narration and recitations. It seemed to me that VALFREYA relied mainly on their old school Black Metal orientations than in actual Folk music. Sure that there were evident signs of atmospheric implementations of the keyboards, several acoustic verses, but in general, the music went harshly forward, without too much grace but with fearless and malignant brutality to conquer more lands, take more prisoners and devour the dominated’s spirits. Widening their will on the listener, VALFREYA took the music into technical areas, rapidly paced riffing enhanced by melodic trill picking, fast run blast beats mayhem just as early 90s Black Metal should always unleash, DEATH and WINTERSUN like odd time verses. On several occasions, the guitarists would add a few solo moments to show their worth even more. However, what interested me even more was the constant changes in the music, VALFREYA may have been on the attack, but they changed angles in order to show more of their playing abilities. Furthermore, I must say that at first I was rather annoyed by the grouchy Blackish growling of Crook, yet over time it seemed rather suitable to the music and harmonized well with her clean vocal efforts. Maybe a little bit more of backing vocals would have helped to increase the pretentious nature of the music.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t say that this is a pristine efforts by this Canadian horde. While listening to the songs for several times I noticed that they have been coming and going with the same blast beat passages that over time just bored me and made me hope that the incoming will be a little diverse. Several times the keyboards left their mark as enhancers, but it didn’t help for long. I was glad that also Crook’s clean vocals came to the rescue here and there. “Path To Eternity” is a good album for Viking Metal fans and melodic Metal admirers. Surely that VALFREYA has something to prove and I believe that they have something good going on, let’s see how it will develop further.

3 Star Rating

1. Path to Eternity (Intro)
2. Deity's Grace
3. Inferno
4. Beyond Illusions
5. Ocean's Assault
6. Confront Immensity
7. Condemned World
8. Alefest
9. My Everlasting Star
10. Glorious Death (Outro)
Grazzt- Guitar & Back Vocals
Shark-  Keyboards
Crook - Lead Vocals
Karhu-  Guitar & Back Vocals
Pinch-  Bass
Jotunn- Drums
Record Label: Maple Metal Records


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