Fri 15th December 2006
With a band name like Valkyrie, and playing the music that they do, you'd be forgiven for thinking that these guys hail from some remote, forest encompassed, Scandinavian hamlet. They do not. Home for these fellows is Rockbridge County, Virginia in the good 'ole U. S. of A. Across whose vast woodlands I expect a Valkyrie has ne'er cast an eye nor set a foot. Except maybe Bridget Neilsson but, she's a bit loopy so doesn't really count.
Valkyrie play 'classic heavy rock' of a particular variety. Their's is the heavier end of the genre. Think Sabbath or Pentagram. Lots of groove, lots of guitar play and plenty of riffs. There are a few tracks on this album that are worth the price of the CD on their own. Opener 'Withered Tree' is held together with a low-slung perfectly paced riff that seems almost straight away like you've known it for years. And track six, 'Heralds of The Dawn' manages somehow to sound like Life of Agony gone all Doom. Which, in my book, is fricking fantastic.
Special mention has to be made of one song in particular. Third track, 'Endless Crusade' invites you to "Paint a cross on your shield, make a crescent of your sword" and is a storming, battle cry of a song with what can only be described as a monster, 'galloping' riff dragging it along for most of the duration.
This album should sit well amongst the record collection of any fan of heavy (doom) rock. Whilst there are some tracks that are stronger than the others, there's no filler here. I'd recommend it highly to any lovers of groove/riff laden Sabbathy goodness.