VALKYRE - OUR GLORIOUS DEMISE (Valkyre Rising Records)
(Review by Sloof)
Sengir was a Flemish band with the wonderful Ellen Schutyser as leading vocal lady, but in 2007 they decided to call it a day. One of the Sengir members is Kris Scheerlinck (guitars), who started Valkyre around 2005 with only one mission: delivering melodic metal with a mixture of Gothic, Classical- and Folk Music. The main influences are Therion, Nightwish, Kamelot and occasionally In Extremo. Well, when I received the debut album of Valkyre, I was really curious how all these elements would melt together anno 2014.
This album has a duration of 40 minutes and is divided in 10 parts and named as ‘Our Glorious Demise’. I do hope that this album title does not refer to the future of the band … Valkyrie Rising is a new German label that offered the band a contract, so they entered the Jonathas Studio with recording engineer Xavier Carion (Channel Zero). Last mentioned icon is a gateway to great sound and production! Huge choirs are present in several songs (e.g. ‘Consolamentum’), great guitar excesses lift the tracks to a higher level (e.g. ‘A Good Day To Die’), and bombastic twists create a certain vibe that add a little extra to the arrangement (e.g. ‘Whispering Thoughts’). If we talk about variety, there are many trump cards present, as some songs are really Heavy, others have a lot of twists and turns and not to keep the pace steadily high, there are also two ballads.
So, all factors are present to conclude that ‘Our Glorious Demise’ is a Gothic Metal hit! But…barring great musicians, we also have a vocal factor that needs to be approved, and that’s exactly where my shoe pinches a bit… Claudia Michelutti is the frontwoman of the band, and her voice is a little too fragile in my humble opinion. She surely can sing, but compared with the musical level of Erik and Kris their guitar excesses, and the concrete foundation of Tom Everaert (Bass) and Peter Van Sweevelt (Drums), her voice is withering and that’s a missed chance.
Valkyre consists of two female members, as Nele Colle her Keyboard parts are present all the time, and add an extra layer to the arrangements, which is a good move. So far, Valkyre didn’t please me all the way… Claudia needs to work on her vocal chords, the songs need to be written in order her range, or the band need to look out for a new front lady, preferable with balls. Only this way, they will be capable to lift their songs to a higher level…
I’m looking forward to see this band live, as it could apply some heaviness, but so far, I need to assess on this studio product, and that’s (a little) below my expectations…
My rating: 76 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish