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Valborg | ‘Endstrand’

When Valborg released the ‘Werewolf’ single last year, it was touted as an era to a close.

The bands dark, individualistic depressive doom sound that had characterised them up to the incredibly brilliant ‘Romantik’ was about to take a turn for something different.

Like Bethlehem, the suspicions were that it might take on a rockier, more Rammstein bent.

But now that it’s here, ‘Endstrand’ doesnt seem quite the change it might have.

I mean yes, it pulses more, and is a smidgen less oppressive than before. But really, it’s classic Valborg just doing what they do best.

Still though, the opening pound of ‘Jagen’ still takes you by surprise, given the simple subtlety of the band’s prior material.

There’s a huge, modern day Killing Joke insistence to it (a feature that occurs throughout), and the Dalek-like vocals sound strangely too mental for the music.

Soon though, we’re back in familiar territory: that of gloomy doom metal.

‘Beerdigungsmachine’, after the pacy 4/4 merauding that opens it, has a fantastic descending chord sequence that would put you in mind of Type O Negative.

The clean plucked notes in ‘Stossfront’ over those low vocals and crunching guitar remind instantly of Skepticism, while ‘Bunkerluft’s darkwave feel recalls the amazing Abel Duz as well.

Of course, their compatriots and fellow mental-cases Bethlehem are writ large over this release too, most especially on the totemic ‘Geisterwuerde’.

And that is really the story of yet another impeccable album from Valborg – a band we’ve come to rely on as a gem of the underground, bidden to no-one and least of all whatever’s going on around them.

If you’re looking for some sinister Doom metal in the vein of Bethlehem, with the added thrust of Killing Joke you can do no better. That the band also have such a wonderfully strong aesthetic sense is but another reason to love them.

I was anticipating this for ages: it turned out even better than it promised.

4.6 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 12/05/17

  1. Drum sound leaves it down imo, Im presuming they’re programed.

  2. Dalek vocals are class.

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