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Wolftooth: Valhalla

I first heard Wolftooth a couple of years back having reviewed their self titled debut album released in 2018. The Richmond, Indiana band is back with their sophomore effort titled Valhalla, a truly epic sounding stoner metal platter served to us via Ripple Music.

I think I like this even better than their excellent debut, the songs have that epic quality even though the longest track is a mere five minutes. In other words, the band says an awful lot in a relatively short amount of time, roughly fort-three minutes of stellar desert rock/doomy fare.

The more I listen to Valhalla it becomes clear there is more to Wolftooth than pure headbanging heaviness. Yes you get that, really impressive drumming and guitar work is found throughout and what this band is able to do is change the dynamics and pacing within the songs, creating a truly impressive slab of heavy metal of the highest order. Influences seem to be clearly Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden (you could do a lot worse in this department) and the lead vocals have a definite Ozzy-like tone. And that is all for the better as the vocals are certainly a major highlight.

The first track “The Lamentation of Frigg” demonstrates the band’s dichotomy of sounds as a gentle acoustic guitar, whistles and keys produce a lilting medieval soundscape. After this short track the heaviness bursts forth with “The Possession” filled with catchy riff progressions and excellent lead vocals, a blending of metal and almost pop stylings. Slicing electric guitar begins “Firebreather”, an awesome track with a galloping riff ala Maiden and thicker slabs of meat on the bone riffs not unlike what Black Sabbath used to create in their heyday. The super catchy title track and head sticking melody and searing soundscapes in “Fear for Eternity” are more great tracks. It’s one highlight after another, really there are no complaints whatsoever from this reviewer. A certain highlight of 2020 and will easily make my year end best of list. Highly recommended!

Track Listing:
1. Intro “The Lamentation of Frigg” (1:30)
2. The Possession (4:35)
3. Firebreather (4:03)
4. Valhalla (4:43)
5. Fear for Eternity (4:15)
6. Scylla & Charybdis (4:57)
7. Molon Labe (5:01)
8. Crying of the Wolves (4:20)
9. The Coven (4:42)
10. Juneau (4:34)

Added: December 12th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 169
Language: english

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