beyond the border
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VALBORG

Barbarian

Release:  2011

Label:  Zeitgeister

Avantgenre:  Darkness Metal

Duration:  50:57

Origin:  Germany

Official site:  http://www.valborg.de/

Review online since:  21.06.2011 / 20:13:48

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VALBORG Me and Thor had the opportunity to see them "live" once, that is, in their rehearsal room when we were visiting the productive half oft he ever-so-bustling ZEITGEISTER-collective from which VALBORG obviously originate. And only there did they unfold their very own full potential their music was made to vibrate, to engulf the listener, to be felt; and that is something a CD is a faulty vessel for. So, while listening to "Barbarian" and writing this review I have the edge of being able to draw from that experience keep that in mind when continuing to read.

After a short BURZUMesque intro "Astral Kingdom" starts, and not only the name conveys associations with TIAMAT's "The Astral Sleeps"; "Barbarian" travels back twenty years in time with the possibilities of today. That means, VALBORG do what they do best: Delivering a mean, slow and powerful cloud of darkness with a production so heavy it crushes you within the very first seconds of listening to it. Sporting the minimal instrumentation for such kind of music, that is: Drums, Bass guitar and guitar, "Barbarian" makes SATYRICON's "Black Lava" cry and run for help. I must admit I am hardly a fan of slow-motion Death Metal, but what VALBORG did on their albums is just pure blackness, music so dense you can cut it with a knife. Sometimes, for example on "Exterminator" or "Towering Clouds", Christian Kolf's clean voice makes them sound like the evil twin of TYPE O'NEGATIVE, a welcome diversion from Jan Buckard's rasping screams.

VALBORG do not surprise the listener much with "Barbarian", that is something that should be said. Neither in the context of their previous albums (although a few new elements have found their way on "Barbarian"), nor does the album itself offer much diversity. But why should it? It works, but once again, I must stress that you can only fully understand VALBORG after you gave them the opportunity to experience their music live. VALBORG make you feel hopeless, crush your bones with their riffs and turn the brightest day into blackest night. Something which the other above mentioned bands feebly failed to do in the overwhelming shadow of "Barbarian". Yes, that's a definite must-buy suggestion, and not only will you get a superb album but you'll support a creative collective which still does not get the recognition it should after a whole bunch of unbelievably great albums. Should you STILL have not heard anything from ZEITGEISTER, "Barbarian" is yet another reason to check them out.

Tentakel P.



TRACKLIST:

01 - Intro
02 - Astral Kingdom
03 - Battlefield Of Souls
04 - Exterminator
05 - Amethystine Skies
06 - Dead Flowers On A Demon Grave
07 - Phlegethonian Stream
08 - Towering Clouds
09 - Iron Dreams
10 - Samantha Alive
11 - Last Silence

 

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