VALHALLA "The Wolfish Nocturne" -1999 - demo

Nightsinger zine

Let's look onto this work thoroughly. What do we see? Melodic Black Metal with keyboards, which stand out against the rest of music and are active enough. In the "non-melodic" parts of compositions (i.e. where aren't keyboards and acoustic guitars) there's acute shortage of any component which could segregate the listener's attention and which could relieve the music. Compositions break often with acoustic and athmospheric infusions with calm "clean" voice. The structure of music is complex enough in general: during one song tempo varies from (relatively) fast and mid to forementioned infusions and pausas. Times rhythm-section plays kind of too unexpecting break (a bit arhythmic sometimes). The sound self is raw and usual for demo-tapes though there are albums with rawer sound.
Let's turn our sight onto vocal parts. Vocal is more than usual - simply it is. Clean (loud and whispering) and distored (something in vein of BURZUM "Filosofem"). But poetry is really amazing. It emanates hatred, spite and misanthropy with slight touches of sorrow and fatality. There are unclear heathen infusions but also Satanism (True Satanism but not "devil-worshipping") and radical antich-tian terror take their parts. Lyrics are figurative from poetic point of view and rich with "picturesque" words:

...A Fang Tearing The Tough Flesh
A Claw Eclipsed With Its Shine The Moon
It Is Wolf Bleeding The Dawn
It Is Howl Ruining The Silence Of Night...

...The Bleeding Sunset Consumes The Firmament
Like A Glowing Strip Of Steel
The Day Has Failed His Everfight To Night
The Darkness Falls Upon The Ural Woods...

...I Am Entailed With The Wolf's Howl
Towards The Dark Of Forest Thicket
The Deathly-Still Beauty Of Woods Draws Me
Towards The Eternal Silence Of Heathen Realm...

But the lyrics are filled with reiterations: during several songs it describes "the going away into Ural Woods" and, in my opinion, the set-expression "Ural Woods" used too often...
...In general, lyrics contain slight ancient/heathen influences (as the pagan closeness to Nature) and modern ones. I can't miss the fact that there's some discrepancy between quite brutal, even aggressive lyrics and quite melodic and nevertheless not "dark" music - it's more usual to see such attitude in the bands that play raw and primitive Black Metal in vein of Darkthrone and all the rest Funerals.
So we have interesting work in vein of melodic Black Metal musically and True Black Metal lyrically and ideologically... Band itself calls its music Forest Metal and not in any other way, denying all other characteristics of its creations. Band's name VALHALLA doesn't have anything with northern mythology and it is one more antireligious step of this band. It is quite unordinary and unusual appearance from the Woods Of Middle Ural.