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Vhaldemar: Shadows of Combat

It’s been a stroke of good fortune to have already reviewed a few of Vhaldemar’s albums as well as interviewed them. The past experience provides a wider perspective to listen and view a band over the course of their creative output. Vhaldemar is a very interesting band is that wind up opposite of what most bands result after certain musical decisions. Take for instance the multi-album concept about Kings they are currently undertaken. Normally what happens is a band adopts a concept and then musically they semi-commercialize in the mistaken belief this will broaden their audience.

Vhaldemar have done something very different they create a lengthy “Kings” concept and each album is heavier than the last and all are far heavier than Shadows of Combat which is a re-release of a self-released album five years ago. Without employing a pun “Shadows of Combat” is an apt title for an album that is riff-driven and melodic. I don’t mention this as a bad thing because there are some outstanding songs that I’m really enjoying but this album is really outside of the brilliant conceptual thought and sound of the past three releases.

“Rock City” is the first track and perhaps the first time you realize this is nearly not the same band but who cares because the level of musicianship, melody and pure mayhem is infectious and positively progressive in a manner only Vhaldemar can manufacture. The title track “Shadows of Combat” is feisty and free to explore a Lynch-like vibe melded in power metal. “The Old Man” and “Old Kings Visions (IV)” are touches of what is to come from their creative fountain. “The Power of the Night” is a brave bridge song from the past to the present with Megadeth grooves mixed with Savatage shadings (love that solo too!) and the direction of Vhaldemar to conceptual greatness. It would not be an understatement to consider Shadows of Combat to be a laboratory of lyrical ideas and a launch pad for a firm group undertaking to forge an identity and possibly a new Vhaldemar.

Track List
1. Rock City 4:01
2. Black Thunder 4:23
3. Danger Street 3:08
4. The Rest of My Life 4:35
5. Beginning 1:02
6. Shadows of Combat 3:39
7. The Old Man 3:37
8. Old King’s Visions (IV) 4:44
9. The Power of the Night 4:01
10. End of the World 3:35
11. Metal & Roll 3:53
12. Oblivion 1:12
13. King of the Night (Bonus) 3:08

Added: July 6th 2018
Reviewer: Mark Antony Rossi
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 226
Language: english

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