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Review: Valhom - Despair

Label: Ars Magna Recordings
Year released: 2007
Duration: 41:36
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: November 13, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 2.33/5 (46.67%) (3 Votes)

I reviewed Valhom's second CD Desolation a few years ago, and I thought it was a good underground BM album, so I was pleased to be offered the chance to review their new one. Valhom are yet another one-man US Black Metal band making their way in the underground, and their new album Despair is a very different beast than their last one.

Desolation was almost atmospheric in places, with a muted guitar tone and involved harmonic melodies. Where that album was soft, Despair is hard as a rock, with a blisteringly heavy guitar sound and precise pounding drums. The melody is still there, but the attack is much more vicious, producing a savage, ripping Black Metal assault that never lets up. From the opening assault of "Eternities Ago" Valhom call to mind such luminaries as Graveland or Immortal. The riffs on here are really excellent, with furious tremolo shredding mixed in with more epic sequences and some real Thrash chunk thrown in for good measure. And yet Valhom do not surrender the melodic intricacy that was the hallmark of their last album, and this is both a visceral assault as well as an album that rewards repeated spins. Classic without sounding derivative, aggressive without losing depth, Despair is a don't-miss album this year. Strongly Recommended.

More about Valhom...
Review: Desolation (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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