Sunday, December 2, 2012

Valborg – Nekrodepression

Review by Sean Cordes.

Artwork by Peter Böhme.

Valborg is one of many obscure, inter-related German acts on the prolific Zeitgeister Music roster. Their music is a gloomy, atmospheric brand of doom with heavy death metal influence and some progressive touches (even a “kraut-rock” feel here and there?) thrown in for good measure. The tones they produce are MASSIVE; the drums punch you in the gut and the guitars, bass, and gruff vocals pummel you to a pulp while you’re down. The formula is pretty simple, but they do it extremely well: simple but good mid-paced, crushing riffs (interspersed with a few faster or more rhythmic ones) are paired with some clean or synthesized interludes that create a dynamic contrast, and make the hulking barbarous mass even heavier. There is a distinctly eerie underpinning to the music here as well, with ringing discordance and the aforementioned clean breaks in the doom.

Despite all that though, there’s some distinctly fun parts to the record that keep it from being too serious an affair (funeral doom, this is not)—take Under the Cross for instance: it conjures the image of a Conan-type character shouting at Christians whilst holding a horn of ale in one hand and brandishing an axe in the other. Meanwhile, Taufe is an entirely ambient keyboard-driven track, showcasing the creepy, somewhat “kraut-rock” vibe Valborg incorporates to their sound. The final two lengthier tracks, In Ekklesia and Opfer, respectively, marry the eerie atmosphere with the crushing heaviness present throughout the album. In the end, Nekrodepression is another excellent, very original work. You won’t hear another record like this all year.


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