Rating:
6.8
Valknacht - Le Sacrifice D'Ymir
11 March 2014


01. Normandnorum Ira [Intro]
02. Bataille De Maldon
03. Chants De Guerre
04. Sur Les Ruines De Rome
05. Le Sacrifice D'Ymir
06. De Murmures Et De Givre
07. Que Le Sang Constelle Mes Mains
08. Le Carmin Des Anges


Pagan black metal can tend to be pretty hit or miss with me. You have your bands that excel at the craft and make fantastic releases (hi there Drudkh and Kawir), and then ones that only offer up your typical "hail Odin/I love trees" redundancy, and offer an equally dismissible delivery with their music. Quebecers Valknacht sit somewhere in the middle, crafting albums that aren't overly engaging or original, but that aren't too far on the stale side either.

Le Sacrifice d'Ymir, the band's third and current effort, sees them more or less continuing the formula established on their previous releases: an epic, medieval pacing, very heavy, "chugga chugga" riff delivery, and occasional use of more classically-inclined instruments such as violin and flute. Valknacht's manipulation of sound doesn't really vary much in ways other than tempo: tracks like "La Bataille De Meldon" build gradually, with a steady mood throughout, while ones like "Sur Les Ruines De Rome" are more aggressive throughout, tapping more into the band's actual black metal personality. Others, like the title track, strike something of a happy medium between the two.

No matter the speed though, Valknacht's instrumentation remains fairly structured, minimalist, and unflinching. This musical organization on the album may strike some (including myself) as lacking much of a hook, but in some ways this feeling can be misleading, as the technique somewhat reinforces the thematic force of the album. Like a long, epic poem, Le Sacrifice d'Ymir is a giant block of sound of sorts, that seems to almost tell a story in itself. So, as monotonous as it can get at points, taking one part of the music out would be likely to damage the power of the tale.

Boiling down to it, Le Sacrifice d'Ymir really isn't anything we haven't heard before. Epic Pagan BM about warriors, snow-topped mountains, and (if the artwork is any evidence) stabbing giant Yetis in the name of the Norse gods. If you want only the cream of the crop from within this style, then you're honestly probably better off listening to one of its more potent bands. However, if all of this battle loving medieval warrior foolishness just tickles your fancy to no end, then you'd probably be doing yourself a favor by giving Valknacht a peek.

Spin it over here.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7


 



Written on 10.03.2014 by
Apothecary
Your friend the witch doctor.
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Eternity'sChild - 13.03.2014 at 23:22  
I like what I've heard so far from this album. Though I maybe won't agree with you, I think it's a nice review.
Apothecary - 14.03.2014 at 01:16  
Written by Eternity'sChild on 13.03.2014 at 23:22

I like what I've heard so far from this album. Though I maybe won't agree with you, I think it's a nice review.

It's definitely not bad, just not really engaging, especially when compared against some of the finer craftsman within Pagan metal. I've admittedly only given it 2 solid playthroughs though, so who knows, maybe it'll grow on me?
Eternity'sChild - 14.03.2014 at 14:03  
Written by Apothecary on 14.03.2014 at 01:16

Written by Eternity'sChild on 13.03.2014 at 23:22

I like what I've heard so far from this album. Though I maybe won't agree with you, I think it's a nice review.

It's definitely not bad, just not really engaging, especially when compared against some of the finer craftsman within Pagan metal. I've admittedly only given it 2 solid playthroughs though, so who knows, maybe it'll grow on me?


I can understand your point, I've also given this just 2 playthroughs. I just wanted to say, that I personally like it (so far), but I didn't want to say anything about the quality of the record (I also like some albums, that I wouldn't even consider average musically, I just like them).

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