The Invocation Of Demise

Written by: EW on 14/07/2009 00:09:43

So, another Scandinavian BM band to review. This time again it's Sweden and the band Valkyrja with their debut album "The Invocation Of Demise". "The Invocation..." actually came out in the summer of 2007 but according to information I can find has been re-released by Metal Blade now because......they signed them since, I guess? I don't know, but what I do know is that it is extremely surprising a major label (in the metal world) signed the band off presumably just this album, especially as Metal Blade has never been known for it's black metal bands even before the recent days of signing up more commercially orientated metal bands.

Given the variety of styles that exist under the BM umbrella these days, some more disparate than others it has to be said, Valkyrja fall under the 'old school orientated with decent production' category - think Ondskapt, IXXI, Gorgoroth, Watain and the band that Valkyrja bear the most number of sonic resemblances to, Secrets of the Moon. Frankly there is little contained within "The Invocation..." that hasn't been done before, but Valkyrja have utilised the genres' sound template well and not become overly-derivative of any one band and so can be considered for a higher mark than mere clones. The aforementioned production is perfect for the kind of album in question - free from unwanted fuzz but still retaining enough dirt and grime to keep the darkness and feeling that is oft found lacking in more cleanly produced BM. Highlights include "Sinister Obsession", the longest track and where Valkyrja most come across like SotM as well as Akercocke in the song's very early stages, and "The Vigil" which closes with a damn fine solo from either A. Hed or S.W. (don't know which!).

Closing song "Frostland" has a nice tempo with which to end and while it could be the song of any large number of Scandinavian BM bands this doesn't prevent it from still being a good, hammering BM tune. It has to be said, like so many other similar albums "The Invocation Of Demise" will bring few, if any, outsiders to the world of BM and it is hard to tell apart from many others pedaling a similar line, but this is still a very good album in it's own right and may be the one that is being referred to in the reviews of albums in the future....

Download: Sinister Obsession, Frostland, The Vigil
For The Fans Of: Watain, Secrets Of The Moon, IXXI
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 20.07.09 (re-release)
Metal Blade Records

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