Valdur – “Berserrker” (Stereogum Premiere)
The ballsy Mammoth, Lakes California trio Valdur play blistering blackened punk/war metal (featuring a Norwegian-born vocalist named Thor). They aren’t crusty like Bone Awl. It’s a close-cropped brutal death-inflected BM sound: Think of the recent recordings of Philadelphia’s (great black hope) woe captured during a Western blizzard and with a more straightforward/traditional, less twisting/mathy/post-black forward push. Which isn’t to say this music isn’t complex: Valdur create an epic, dense atmosphere and display a surprisingly graceful ear for melody and a strong dynamic pull within all that buzzing. They also bring along an uncompromising DIY spirit to the table: As with their 2007 self-titled debut and 2008 split with Lightning Swords of Death, the band released this new “self-funded” full-length, Raven God Amongst Us, on drummer Sxuperion’s Bloody Mountain imprint. (You may recognize the album title from the name of a track on that Lightning split.) Its most immediate track is the single “Berserrker,” a kind of fight song for the band, and maybe USBM in general.
02 “Wound Fires In The Afterlife”
03 “Great Abyss Unfold”
04 “Gravlagt I Morkets Natt!”
05 “Med Fjell I Horisonten”
07 “Past Of Wolves”
08 “Vicious Existence”
Raven God Amongst Us is out via Bloody Mountain. If you’re interested in hearing “Berserrker” on vinyl, track down the “Demon Wisdom”/”Berserrker” 7″ out via Satan’s Might/Cult Of The Horns and the strongly worded three-way split with Killgasm and Shitestrom, Burning Your Churches To Ash, Fucking Your God Up Her Ass, released via ChristHammer. Here’s to hoping they hit the East Coast again sometime soon. Keep watch at MySpace.