Valkyrja - The Invocation of Demise
Northern Silence Productions
Brutal Black Metal
9 songs (43'56")
Release year: 2007
Official Myspace, Northern Silence
Reviewed by Alex

If your own label promotes the band as Fast Swedish Black Metal, you have got to live up to expectations given the notoriety of the genre. Valkyrja has no trouble holding up their end of the bargain applying blastbeats in abundance while playing a rather brutal and grating style of black metal on The Invocation of Demise.

After a short rolling drums warring intro Origin Reversed!, the record gets off to a blasting start (pun intended) with As Everything Rupture and Plague Death, the latter having a quick acoustic interlude which matters little in the overall scheme of things. Guitars mow and shred everything in sight, but the rhythm on these two firecrackers is so unrelenting and overpowering little else can get noticed. At least Valkyrja’s drums sound earthy real and not overpunched in the mix, courtesy of Necromorbus Studio production. This outfit is owned by Tore Stjerna, the man of many notable ex-bands, i.e. Funeral Mist, Watain and In Aeternum. Necromorbus has a knack of recording uncompromising black metal so that the end result does not sound as one unlistenable mess. The latest Watain has just the right amount of polish and Valkyrja also benefits from every instrument, including A.L.’s vocals, having its own space.

The Vigil finally lays off the speed throttle and lets the sensibility creep in, carried by measured double bass groove and melodic, yet still primal, Bathory/Motorhead riffs which would not be out of place on the latest I album. The end solo brings The Vigil to its fruitful completion. However, the best showcase potential for Valkyrja is epic in its approach, scope and execution Sinister Obsession preceded by a couple of intros, the incessant Twilight Revelation and dreamy On Stillborn Wings. On Sinister Obsession the blast and the groove manage to co-exist, with the band engaging the listener with tremolo melodies and magnificent solo work.

While Purification and Demise uncorks the blasting power one more time, and for a little too long, the closer Frostland finishes off at a more deliberate pace, its harmony (as well as the title) playing on the themes introduced by Immortal on Sons of Northern Darkness. It could be that reminiscence, but Frostland and The Vigil is where A.L.’s vocals cackle very similar to Abbath’s extreme yet understandable manner.

Not for the fans of the subtle one-man-closed-behind-his-closet-door melancholic black metal Valkyrja have certainly been preaching at the altar of Marduk, Setherial, The Legion and late Immortal. Interestingly enough that when the band eschews this all-out power approach and become more subtle, they garner a second look, from a different angle, which might afford them more fans outside of those whose only purpose picking up a CD is to get their senses ravaged. Consider this an appeal to those who will label this a “plain” Norsecore not worthy of their pennies. There is potential here waiting to be uncovered.

Killing Songs :
The Vigil, Sinister Obsession, Frostland
Alex quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Valkyrja that we have reviewed:
Valkyrja - The Antagonists Fire reviewed by Alex and quoted 73 / 100
Valkyrja - Contamination reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
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