Monday, 20th November 2017. 2:03:14pm ET

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Artist: Valhom
Album: Despair
Label: Ars Magna Recordings

If there's one thing I can say about the Chicago black metal project Valhom, it's that Lord Tempation likes his black metal played extremely fast. Through all nine songs on Despair there aren't many parts that are played at anything under warp speed. This is the third full-length album from Valhom since the formation back in 1999 and the first release on Ars Magna Recordings who re-released their last album, Desolation. From the opening note on Eternities Ago, Lord Temptation tremolo picks his way through riff after riff of raw black metal and he only slows down to inject some chaotic thrash sections into the songs. Even though I'm not totally sure if they are electronically altered or not, his raspy vocals couldn't fit the music any more perfectly than they do and the keyboard sections that he plays aren't extremely noticeable and work well. While the bass is non-existent, my only complaint, and it's not a big one, would be some of the drumming on "Despair". If it's a drum machine, it's not too bad and at times it actually sounds decent, I just like the sound of actual drums. Though I'm not completely sold on the fact that it is a machine, if it is an actual drum kit, Lord Temptation uses a lot of triggers. The drums fit the music though and if it is him on the kit then the parts that don't sound triggered sound like he's not too bad of a drummer. Other than my small gripe about the drums, I would say that this is a solid release for Valhom and worth listening to if you are a fan of early nineties style black metal.


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