A horrible hack



Year Released: 2020
Format: LP
Label: Relapse
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Dec 28, 2020
Every few years a Valkyrie record comes my way, and the encounter is invariably a pleasurable one. As per usual, Fear sees the band mixing trad doom, classic rock and NWOBHM to stomping effect, and while that makes for a simple enough record on the face of it, the fact that it's so good kinda speaks to Valkyrie's power. You see, in the hands of a hundred other bands, this material just wouldn't work. It might be too studious; or too workmanly; or just too mediocre, and even after listening to them for close to 15 years I still can't quite figure out what Valkyrie's X-factor is. I think it has to do with the way Jake Adams mixes joy and despondency like they were two sides of a coin being flipped, and also the gleeful, unexpected way in which guitar parts peel away and aim for the sky. Overall, though, I think it comes down to something as numinous as 'soul' – a cheesy and overused word to lob at any rock band for sure, but goddamn if this bunch don't just demand it.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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