The best and most memorable black metal out there remembers that it’s metal first. Atmospheric black metal? It should be atmospheric, anyway, you know? Post-black metal? What does that even mean anymore? When it comes to black metal, Valdrin‘s brand of black metal walks between the rows, never fully committing to one specific sound (especially on their lengthy new album), but what they do in a consistent manner is remember their roots. There are many -isms found in Throne of the Lunar Soul, and the most important of them all is how dedicated to being a metal band (as opposed to a post-rock band with blast beats. Yes, I’m talking about your “atmospheric black metal” band.) they are.
With strong songwriting, memorable melodies, riffs galore, and an overall “over-the-top” mentality guiding Valdrin throughout Throne of the Lunar Soul, I at times hesitate to call this a black metal album because that genre term is simply too limiting. So what if there are harsh vocals and blast beats? Those exist in grindcore, death metal, goregrind–do I need to keep listing off genres to make this point? Valdrin made a great, catchy metal album here, and I’m all for it. Most importantly, there are some stellar Windir-isms (do you not see the swords?) to be found on this album, especially on “Paladins of Ausadjur,” which is streaming below. Accordion? In my metal? Believe it. Embrace it. Embrace the metal.
From the band:
“Paladins of Ausadjur” is the fourth chapter in the story of Throne of the Lunar Soul, where Valdrin and his trusted horde are led through the vast metropolis of his celestial homeland, towards the tower of Mater Ausadjur. As icy winds howl through the city, the horde is overcome by the omniscient power of the grand matriarch, whose tower serves as the pillar supporting the glass dome which encapsulates the Ausadjur world. As they enter the hollow structure, the voice of the queen echoes down the golden walls, beckoning Valdrin alone to ascend the staircase. Atop the highest spire of this land, he awaits judgment for failing in his mission to save Earth, all those centuries ago.
Throne of the Lunar Soul releases November 24th via Blood Harvest Records.