Heroes of Vallentor – The Warrior\’s Path Part 1

Reviewed: November 2014
Released: 2014, Inverse Records
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Take just one look at the cover of the album, one read through of the band name, album title, or song titles, and you can pretty much guess what style of metal you’re going to get from Sweden’s Heroes of Vallentor. If you guessed power metal – have a cookie, because you’re right! Joking aside, Heroes of Vallentor is led by the Skoldmark brothers (Lars – Vocals/Guitar, and Bjorn – Guitar) and after enduring several false-starts since forming in 2005, have finally gotten things together enough to release their debut album, THE WARRIOR’S PATH PART 1.

As I alluded to above, the band makes no bones about the fact that they unashamedly play power metal, in the muscular Manowar style. The band definitely has the chops and the passion; this is no irony-laden joke. Every song stomps along with strong riffs and the occasional over the top speedster to keep the music lively. Lyrically, the band weaves an epic fantasy tale that will be instantly recognizable and enjoyable to fans of Rhapsody of Fire, Gloryhammer, etc. Musically and lyrically then, the band definitely holds their own.

That being said, there are two things that hold Heroes of Vallentor back: production, and vocals. Let’s start with the production, which is bland and powerless. It’s certainly clear, but somehow the obvious energy and power of the band is just not translated. A band like this has to go either crystal clear or gritty to emphasize their strengths, and this does neither. Vocally, Lars Skoldmark is similarly workmanlike but powerless, and he doesn’t appear to have much range. Neither he, nor the production is actively bad, but they do stand out as lacking in comparison to their power metal peers.

It will be interesting to see where Heroes of Vallentor go from here. THE WARRIOR’S PATH PART 1 is a solid first effort that shows the promise of the band without quite reaching their full potential. Power metal and/or Manowar fans will certainly find enjoyment here though and with luck, this will just be the first step in a long journey for the band.


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Track Listing:
1. The Quest
2. Warrior’s Path
3. The Questing Knight’s Vow
4. Lord of Fire
5. Vengeance
6. Knights of Death
7. Hawktalon
8. The Forlorn Watchman
9. Lawgiver
10. We Will Fight With Courage
11. The Sword of Heroes

Lars Skoldmark: Vocals, Guitar
Bjorn Skoldmark: Bass
Calle Sundberg: Guitar
Emil Ruthstrom-Sandin: Drums