Released: 2010, Metal Blade
Not to prematurely denigrate their efforts, but reading Metal Blade’s promotional evangelizing of Swedish black metal exports, Valkyrja, you’d be naïve not to treat the wide-eyed comparisons to Immortal and Behemoth with a slight hint of cynicism. As it is, CONTAMINATION is only the second installment in their discography, a haphazard debut having come by way of the very mediocre THE INVOCATION OF DEMISE, kindly re-released by Metal Blade last year.
If CONTAMINATION proves anything though, it’s that the band has invested a lot of time into honing their songwriting craft, which combined with an admirable technical prowess, gives them a fair old arsenal from which to summon their nocturnal musings. Black metal has made way for the more pronounced presence of its deathly elder sibling and the significantly more palatable result is hammered home on highlights like “Oceans to Dust”.
Not afraid to buck their formula when the mood strikes, “The Womb of Disease” cuts a swathe of vintage thrash into the mix, and leaves one with the lingering impression that even if CONTAMINATION doesn’t quite qualify as a timeless classic, Valkyrja are most definitely capable of offering one in the not too distant future. Well worth your attention.