Friday, June 21, 2024

Valfreya ‘Path to Eternity’ Album Review

Valfreya formed in 2009 as the brainchild of their current lead vocalist, Crook, with a desire to play aggressive but glorious music combined with lyrics inspired by Viking mythology. Path to Eternity is their debut album and was released via Maple Metal Records.

Since its discovery, Scandinavian death metal or ‘Viking Metal’ has become extraordinarily popular despite its more niche folk origins. However as more and more bands commonly made up of big men with big beards appear, you may find yourself asking; can anyone really start up in this style of music with any originality?

valfreya promo

Thankfully, Path to Eternity utterly disproves this idea. Unlike most other Viking Metal bands, Valfreya stick to melodies more than anything which gives them a fantastically original sound. The album excels in integrating this original sound into nearly every song without becoming too repetitive; for instance Ocean’s Assault and Confront Immensity stand opposite each other on the album and both include the grandeur clad sound with the sheer pummel of metal but the subtle inclusion of higher tempo drums or tapping on the guitars make the two songs ideally individual.

One of the main things that strike you about the album is the depth of sound it provides. From the very first song Valfreya use the operatic voice of Crook in combination with the many various string instruments to create the heavy but grand sound that they promise. Their song Inferno displays this best with a slightly heavier tone than the rest of the album and affirms their more symphonic approach akin to the more recent Cradle of Filth material.

Overall, Path to Eternity would more than please any regular Viking Metal fan. However, more importantly, they leave the possibility for great gains to be made with popularity among fans that enjoy the more symphonic side of folk music. The combination of different instruments to create a huge sound is masterful and perfectly suits the carefully crafted Norse-inspired lyrics, definitely worth checking out!

9/10

Sean Rafferty
Sean Rafferty
A metalhead residing the birthplace of metal - Birmingham!

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