6/2/2006 - Review by: Anthony Burke
Valhalla - The Aftermath - 2005 - Agnat Records
Created in 1997 and hailing from Spain, the band started with 3 guys from various bands whose sole purpose was just to play metal. Now that the line-up has gone from 3 to 5 it includes Javi Navarro (vocals, from the band Aftershok), Ignacio Garamendi (guitar, from the band Soulitude), Mikel Martinez (guitar, form the band Almondiga), Jose Felix (bass), Ivan Corcuera (drums, from the band Nordwind).
Musically, the band seems unoriginal at first, sounding as if they are searching for their own sound by mimicking such greats as Primal Fear, Dragon Force, and Hammerfall. A closer listen shows that this is no way the case. The opening track is heavy, fast, incorporates great guitar shreds, and is written about their favorite subject, heavy metal. The race is on boys, and they want the lead by following up the same power and intensity on the following track. However, this album is less than perfect with weak and uneventful tracks such as “Lost In Space”, “Farewell”, and Memories”. Then there is a gallopy ballad to bring this story to a close. Replace tracks 3, 5, and 7 with the power and speed that “Inseminator” and “XXX” showcase and this would make for an absolute perfect album, however, there are some simple, unimaginative filler tracks here, but what is done is done. This is simply a case of a speeding car that tried to run on three tires and a half a tank of gas.
Some say that Valhalla lacks in originality. Well, maybe that is a bit true in some cases, but Valhalla is a band who can stand on their own just fine. I love power metal, but is their really anything that has not been touched upon. I do not think so, but it is all how a band spins that sound to create an individual identity. Personally, this album does drop at points, but after the dust has settled, this needs to be added to your CD collection.
Personal rating: 7.5/10
--Iced Mojo 05.15.06
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