Reviewed: April 2021
Released: 2021, Soulseller Records
Dod is one prolific artist. The Norwegian guitarist boasts an impressive resume in many genres of metal from the melodic Scorpions influenced Big City to the fierce Scariot and of course his long-running main band, the old school Death Metal project, Blood Red Throne. Somehow he continues to find time and is back with yet another new project, one that sees him turning back to his earliest Black Metal roots, Valdaudr.
Soulseller Records has issued the bands debut. I say band, with two members, Dod (Guitar, bass) and Vald (vocals) and a raging global pandemic, it might be a bit more of a studio project at this time. The cover art is elegant and simple yet menacing at the same time. The title DRAPSDALEN, the best I can tell translates into ‘Murder Valley’ in English. One of the big Metal websites says that Valdaudr is Cobolt 60 with just a name change, but I’m not convinced because Cobolt 60’s vocalist Flemming is not in Valdaudr. Only Dod knows for sure.
Blackened Thrash (or is it Black Metal with thrash elements?) is the order and style of the day. Short and (not) sweet the seven-track album runs a compact 38 minutes. The production is rough and raw and the songs simple and effective. It sounds unpolished and primitive which is a good feature. Valdaudr do not sound fresh or innovative which is good because if DRAPSDALEN did sound fresh and innovative, they would have failed and missed the point. The wily old veteran Dod is too clever to taint his work with unnecessary influences and experimentation when he has so many other musical avenues to explore in his other bands. This is about as pure as you will find.
I don’t like to directly compare bands but if you think of some mid-era, early 2000’s Darkthrone (after they were Black Metal but before they were doing Black n’ roll) you might be in the sonic ballpark for Valdaudr. It is a competitive sub-genre and a crowded field but DRAPSDALEN is as good as anything will find out there.
1. Liket Skulle Vaert Brent (The body was to be burned)
2 .Trass Og Vrede (Despite And Anger)
3. Evig Langt Inn I Tiden (Eternally Far Into Time)
4. Den Evige Ild (The Eternal Fire)
5. Du Vantro Og Vrange Slekt (You Unbelievers And Wrong Relatives)
6. Drapsdalen (Murder Valley)
7. Kom, Bestig Vaare Fjell (Come Climb Our Mountains)