Back in May we reviewed “Some Kind of Vampire” by Valravne and less than four months later the surprise release of part II caught us completely off guard. As with the first installment, it’s a self recorded and self produced affair, completed at Clean Sheets Studios in Asheville, North Carolina and follows the aggressive, depressive and misanthropic Black Metal path, taking inspiration from acts such as Leviathan, Burzum and Dissection. Unlike other similar projects, the works of Valravne are not primitively recorded in a cave in the Norwegian Black Forests, not that there is anything wrong with that, but still maintain that raw intensity that the genre is known for.
That raw edge manifests itself in the drum sound of “Nothing Left To Corrupt” which stands out against the guitar work as a prominent figure thanks to the mix the EP has “Some Kind of Vampire II” has been given. Racing guitars sound like soundtrack to a fast fight scene, with the Monstrous vocals dragging nails on a concrete floor. From that fast out of the gate opening onslaught “I Only Pray For Your Death” has a nuanced tempo shift for an atmospheric spoken word of pure evil, while some electrifying solo moments add the razors edge to the knife blade in Hitchcock’s “Psycho“. Dropping the pace for a nausea inducing bad acid trip of a haunting opening to “Raped into Existence” is a nice touch, while the haunting melody flows in similar fashion to the work of Dratna. The bloodcurdling screamed vocals from the black depths of the poison well are the cries of a ghost from beyond the grave while the tempo shift up through a blast beat passage doesn’t then lead to the anticipated gut punch of guitar work, instead leaning on a faster melody. Stepping out from those haunted shadows “Lucid Nightmare” brings the biggest surprise of the EP with some Post-Hardcore riffs of bright beauty backed off by those evil vocals. The climbing solo is a pleasure and makes for a real step from Black Metal. That being said, it’s a fine cut that would grace most works, even if it isn’t one for the purists [7.5/10]
- Nothing Left to Corrupt
- I Only Pray For Your Death
- Raped into Existence
- Lucid Nightmare
“Some Kind of Vampire II” by Valravne is out now and available over at bandcamp