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Vredehammer - Violator Award winner

by Erika Kuenstler at 09 February 2016, 11:19 AM

Norway has long been hailed as the foremost country when it come to Black Metal, with the onus of maintaining that reputation falling onto a newer generation of bands. And one such band that has already come creeping out of the darkness to pick up the torch of their forefathers is VREDEHAMMER, formed in 2009. This year sees them ready to unleash their sophomore album "Violator" onto the world, and all I can say is prepare yourself to be thoroughly shattered by this leviathan Blackened Death Metal onslaught.

Right from first few bars of "Light The Fucking Sky", it becomes clear that this band means business. Using the brutality and relentless attack of Technical Death Metal to drive home the utter aggression of Black Metal, VREDEHAMMER have melded the best of these two genres into a cyclonic tempest that blows you away. This sets the pace for what is to come, with "Spawn Tyrant" following suit. The title song "Violator" unbelievably cranks this malignant blitzkrieg up another notch, forming a bombastic bombardment that drives you to almost breaking point before relenting into a hypnotic slower-paced interlude before once again pummelling you to the point of near insanity. "Deadfall" on the other hand uses a repetitive salvo, gunning you down in a hail of machine-gun fire. A welcome change of pace ushers in "Ursus", a catchy yet decimating song that leaves you with goosebumps. I hesitate to say that "Ursus" is a highlight of the album, as that would imply that the others aren't as outstanding, however, this is undeniably one of the best songs I've heard in a while. "Cyclone" sounds exactly as the name implies, surrounding you in a swirling whirlwind of razor-blade riffs and thunderous blast beats. A melodic section marks the eye of the storm, giving you a heartbeat's reprieve before being cast back into the maelstrom. And it is on the violent wings of this ragged storm that we are left with the icy furore of "Blodhevn". Here guitar melodies interweave with furious drumming, whilst the Black Metal influences stand starkly in the fore, before leaving you completely ravaged by "Violator".

The production is crisp, yet still has a slightly organic feel to it, whilst the musicianship on this album is tighter than a miser's grip on his wallet. With "Violator", VREDEHAMMER have not allowed themselves to be shackled by any one particular genre, resulting in a fresh sound that unrelentingly goes straight for the jugular. Overall, this is an excellent album that is a definite must-listen, especially for fans of Blackened Death Metal. It is exceptionally rare for me to award an album with a perfect score, but this stunning opus deserves no less.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Light the Fucking Sky
2. Spawn Tyrant
3. Violator
4. Deadfall
5. Ursus
6. Cyclone
7. Blodhevn
Per Valla - Guitars, Vocals
Stone - Bass
Felix - Drums
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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