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Valhalla Awaits “Perdition” Album Review by Scott Douglas

Megan Jenkins 583895

Do you make music buying decisions for ridiculous teenager reasons like album art or band name? Despite my 50th birthday rapidly approaching, I often find myself being attracted by these very attributes like a witless deep-sea ocean creature drawn to their doom by the warm glow of something pretty. 

Luckily for me, when I chose to review Valhalla Awaits’ new EP Perdition simply because of their name and artwork, I didn’t suffer for my mindlessness. This 5-song effort both surprised me and rewarded me. 

Surprise number 1: Valhalla Awaits is not a Viking-themed Death, Black or Power/Folk metal band. They strike me as a very appealing blend of Post-Grunge, Biker and Groove metal. The phrase that kept springing to mind was, “Melodic biker metal.”

Surprise number 2: South Wales is apparently a hot-bed of this kind of music. Band members Andrew Hunt (vocals), Chris Green (guitar), Rhys Carter (guitar), Sam Kilby (bass), and Gareth Lawrence (Drums) converge on this band from others such as Buffalo Summer, The Blackout and Revoker. Knowing this causes me further regret that while visiting the British Isles with my wife, we never did get over to Wales. 

The Door of No Return kicks things off with monster riffs and gobs of melody. It is very evident these men are veterans. There is a distinct maturity to their playing. The rhythm-section is absolutely crushing and very much in sync. 

Staring at the Gun is a mid-tempo song that showcases Andrew Hunt’s tremendous vocal talents. I am reminded of another rather obscure band from the 2000s: Stephenville, TX’s Submersed. Vocalist Donald Carpenter elicits and pulls emotion out of the air with his plaintive and melodic vocals and Andrew Hunt is equal to the task. The song also highlights fantastic guitar solos and crunchy pounding riffs. 

Is There Anybody Out There somehow ups the ante with Hunt’s vocal range and capabilities. The lyrical themes are dark and emotional and Hunt makes you feel every bit of it. The twin guitar attack allows for further depth as one is leading the way with monster riffs while the other is laying down melody. 

We Remain continues showing off the band’s epic songwriting and ample skills. We find the band picking up speed again and the guitarists in particular shine on this one. I love it when there are beautiful melodies and hooks undergirding the vocals and drumming. 

All Hope is Lost is the final song of this much too short EP. This is a good problem for the band as this creates a strong sense of “leave them wanting more.” I walk away unsatisfied… hollow… because I want more of what Valhalla Awaits offers. 

One of the bands I’m reminded of during this short journey is Alter Bridge, a band that seems incapable of writing a bad song. Going all the way back to their time as Creed, the members of Alter Bridge have a Lou Gehrig-like quarter century streak of unbroken songwriting mastery; Valhalla Awaits have a great start on their own streak.  

I’ve been wanting to go back to Great Britain ever since the day I left it in 2009, and one of the reasons is that I didn’t get to spend time in Wales. Cardiff is a fascinating city and the setting of one of my favorite shows ever: Torchwood. There are antiquities, history and culture to explore. Now I’ve been given another fantastic reason: there is an incredible music scene thriving in South Wales and Valhalla Awaits appear to be one of the backbones of this scene. This is a talented group that I’m pleased to recommend very highly. 

Scott’s Score: 9/10

Pre order the EP here: https://linktr.ee/Valhallaawaits

Valhalla Awaits album 955186

EP Tracklist:

1. Door of No Return  
2. Staring At The Gun  
3. Is There Anybody Out There?  
4. We Remain  
5. All Hope Is Lost

Live Shows:

1st March – MERTHYR, Redhouse – Perdition EP Launch Party
More dates TBA

Valhalla Awaits is:

Lead Vocals – Andrew Hunt 
Guitar/Vocals – Chris Green
Guitar – Rhys Carter 
Bass – Sam Kilby – Bass
Drums/Vocals – Gareth “Snoz” Lawrence

Connect with Valhalla Awaits:

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/Valhallaawaits
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ValhallaAwaitsband
YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChshnjLaWsAphDvO9ybzXug
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/valhallaawaitsband/

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