Released: 2005, Grabasonic
Valhalla? Nice name. According to the ever-reliable Encyclopedia Metallum, there are no fewer than 10 bands with the name Valhalla. Anyway, this one is the one from Spain, and they’ve been around since 1997. They’ve released three albums prior to this, beginning with 2000’s BEYOND THE UNDERWORLD, but due to label hassles haven’t been able to get the distribution or promotion necessary to take their career to the next level.
Back after a two-year break, Valhalla brings with them THE AFTERMATH, of what, I’m not sure. Anyway, the disc is a solid mixture of traditional ‘80s metal and Euro-styled power metal both of which are perfectly encompassed in the first two tracks. “Inseminator” is a vicious ‘80s metal anthem in the grand tradition of Painkiller-era Judas Priest or countless German metal luminaries. These days you’ll find bands like Icarus Witch and Ignitor doing the same thing. On the other hand, “Enemy” is double-bassed power metal to a “T”. The rest of the album follows this exact stylistic mixture, but tends to fall more on the power metal side of the fence.
Musically the band is up to the task, with the fiery leads of Jevo and the powerful vocals of Javi Navarro leading the charge. Navarro has a very good voice and is able to hit the highs of any power metal singer out there, but he could be so much more. For example, during the chorus of “Inseminator” he busts out an absolutely ball-crushing scream, showing he does have the stones to really let loose. It’s too bad he doesn’t do more of that throughout the disc.
When all is said and done, THE AFTERMATH is a very good metal album that has enough grit to attract traditional metal fans but is melodic enough to not scare the power metallers away. It might be tough to get a hold of, but fans of this style should search it out.