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Validor - In Blood, In Battle

In Blood, In Battle
by Kevin Lewis at 17 June 2020, 9:09 PM

VALIDOR is a Greek band formed in 2005 by Odi “Thunderer”. This group has put out three full length albums since their inception. Labeling themselves as “Blood” Metal, that might be a semi-appropriate genre, but that is not all they are by any stretch of the imagination. “In Blood In Battle” is a re-release of their first album with new recordings of everything except vocals and guitar solos. This re-release is out on the Iron On Iron Records label. Not having heard the original recordings, I will be rating the version you can hear now.

First of all, let’s get the genre classification out of the way. Blood Metal does describe some of their work, but there is so much more than that present. Power Metal and Epic Metal are both heard and so are some elements of Thrash Metal, then throw in some Speed Metal. This is a superb blending of elements that leave a wonderful taste in your mouth, much like the Greek delicacy, baklava (itself with a long and storied history). This is the Greek answer to the Viking Metal of bands like AMON AMARTH.

Starting off the album is “The Riddle Of Steel”. Quietly leading in this epic tale of Greek mythology and folklore, the song lulls you into thinking this might be a softer, folksy-type record telling a Homerian tale. Fear not, “Sword Of Vengeance” follows and lets us know this band has some serious chops. With driving dual guitar work and some serious double bass from the drummer, the pulsing rhythm drives you into the ground and takes your breath away. With mostly clean, but some nice growly vocal parts, the stage is set for the rest of the record.

The next couple of songs are similar, nice intros leading to a nice pounding rhythm for the rest of the song, It is track number five that sets itself apart. “Through The Storm” pulls a stunt not many bands are willing to attempt. At a little over six and half minutes, there is not a lot of time to try this, but VALIDOR not only tries, they succeed at giving a nod to the epic IRON MAIDEN song “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”. With a drop off in the middle and a spoken word recitation during the lull, honor is paid to the predecessor. This is a ballsy move that is handled well. Kudos to VALIDOR.

The Dark Tower” starts hard and fast and does not quit. No intro to lead you to the riff, just a sprint right from the starting gate. Powerful drumming and a continued dual guitar assault. “Stormbringer” and ”Cool The Wrath Of Steel” keep the tale moving forward with an onslaught of power. The tale continues and the hero gets ever closer to the end of the quest, fighting for his final prize, glory. Glory comes “In Blood In Battle”. Imploring his mother to forgive him for he must go to battle because Valhalla awaits, our hero is set for the final test… Surviving, getting home, and claiming victory. If victory cannot be his, let him die with honor. The warrior creed, fulfilled.

This is a fun album, filled with great musicianship and some interesting tempo shifts and intros. As mentioned earlier, it invokes other bands who have written epic poetry style records, most notably to me would be AMON AMARTH and MANOWAR. This is the second shot at this record as they re-recorded everything but the vocals and guitar solos. I don’t know how much of an improvement that is since I have not heard the original, but this version makes me happy, so I don’t even need to know about the first try. I love an epic tale and this gives me all I need to be satisfied.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  7

4 Star Rating

1. The Riddle Of Steel
2. Sword Of Vengeance
3. The Last Emperor
4. Stealer Of Souls
5. Throught The Storm
6. The Dark Tower
7. Stormbringer
8. The Wrath Of Steel
9. A Last Farewell
10. In Blood In Battle
Odi “Thunderer” – Vocals/Guitar
Bob Katsionis – Guitar/Keyboard
Guest Musicians
Alexander “Mordor” – Bass
John B. “Valdar” – Drums
Record Label: Symmetric Records


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Edited 29 March 2023

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