Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Valkyrie - Man Of Two Visions (2008)

I really wanted to love this album. It's just the sort of thing I would. Ostensibly doom metal, it's basically a combination of the St. Vitus/Pentagram kind of sound, lots of Thin Lizzy, some NWOBHM - a more mid-tempo version of Slough Feg, maybe, or kissing-cousins to Witchcraft.

The problem is, the album never really seems to get going. There's two nice, chuggy enough songs to begin with - but they feel more like warm-ups. Then, just when you're ready for the main course, there's an instrumental. It's dreamy and a bit insubstantial. Then comes the centrepiece of the album, 'Apocalypse Unleashed', a totally brilliant Thin Lizzyesque epic, all groovy riffing and folksy melody. It seems like the party is finally under way, even if the next song, while good, isn't up to the same level. Then - kaPOW - another instrumental! A nice little acoustic workout, but one that begins to overstay its welcome at over 5 minutes. Fortunately, the title track, which closes the album, is another knockout, but that's not enough punch to make for a really classic album. And at just around 37 minutes, this is a pretty concise offering in any case.

Of course, what there is of this album ranges from the nice, if disposable, to the really quite cool. It doesn't descend into tedium, but it never really scales the heights either. A decent filler between doom metal/classic-style heavy metal main features.


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