Track Premiere: Alvaldur – “Nightmares Ride Across the Stars”

I sat here trying to work in some quippy ideas about Alvaldur (featuring Mare Cognitum’s Jacob Buczarski among their ranks) and how they don’t really sound like their “Cascadian” peers, but that ultimately detracts from something Alvaldur did on their own: create a great black metal album. We always get so caught up in the comparison game, be it locally, sonically, ideologically, and so on, and it hinders the actual description of music. So let’s talk about Alvaldur musically. This West Coast trio’s debut album Of Dusk and Crumbling Silence is good black metal. Now, what does that mean? It can mean a lot of things depending on context, and here Alvaldur crafts a brick house out of catchy, memorable riffs with little concern for much else. Is this one of those “riff salads?” No, not exactly. Yes, things move in a very linear route, but Alvaldur very thoughtfully placed everything together according to what can only be described as a “greater plan” for each song, maintaining a high level of excitement and energy as each progresses. Album opener “Nightmares Ride Across the Stars,” which is streaming below ahead of Of Dusk and Crumbling Silence‘s Friday the 13th release date introduces Alvaldur with powerful riffing and a proud atmosphere. What is nice about this song, and Alvaldur’s debut as a whole, is that it stands on its own without bolstering from a scene or an idea. Alvaldur simply is (and is good).

Of Dusk and Crumbling Silence releases May 13 on Labyrinth Tower