The Pitch: Ohio occult black metal project Valdrin follow up the already solid Two Carrion Talismans with the even more entrancing on Effigy of Nightmares via Blood Harvest Records. FFO: Palace Of Worms, Helleborus, early Enslaved
What I Like: My only real complaint of Valdrin's otherwise impressive 2018 album was one of overall length. At the time, I recommended that the band consider trimming the fat to a leaner 35 minutes; and lo and behold here come the raging hellfires of Effigy of Nightmares clocking in at just around 33. Can I take credit for that shift? Probably not, but the fact still remains that this follow-up is much stronger for it. The whole ordeal just feels much more focused and concise in its brevity; allowing tracks like "Red Burning Candles of Hatred" and "Basilisk of Light" in particular to really make a lasting footprint in their cavernous and haunting intensity. The cascading melodies of "Exsanguination Tunnels" draw more modern allusions to Botanist while the copious amounts of reverb and subtle backing synths once more call back to Frost-era Enslaved with a bleak, jangling guitar tone that is chilling to the bone. Honestly, save for the slightly more polished production, I would believe someone if they told me that this was recorded in Norway during the second wave. Not bad for a couple of midwesterners.
Critiques: Serious strides guys. I really have nothing to add at this point. Just be proud of this achievement.
The Verdict: Effigy Of Nightmares is easily on my very short list of top notch black metal albums so far in 2020. If you haven't yet jumped on the Valdrin train and you're a fan of the genre, do yourself a favor and hop to it.
Flight's Fav's: Exsanguination Tunnels, Red Burning Candles of Hatred, Basilisk of Light
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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