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Valborg : Romantik

Valborg's latest offering is near-perfectly steeped in the mires of tragedy and beauty.

Valborg are a band like no other; a classy band whose music you will not be able to pinpoint or pigeonhole, or forget. Their pure metal sound is loose and arguable, and 'Romantik' is the best example of how non-metal this metal band can sound. Valborg have evolved, from their death metal roots and have become a sophisticated, elusive, enigmatic and highly atmospheric entity of slowed-down moments of transcendental bliss and thundering darkness. 'Romantik' stretches the boundaries of the concept of DOOM, like stretches it a lot. Doom, yes, for this music is slow and brooding; metal? not necessarily and not to the extent that it predominates the entire album - it is simply not that simple in regard to this oddball of a recording. Most of 'Romantik' is clean-sung, clear-sounding dark rock having a depraved atmosphere and some twisted negative vibe, and listening to this album in the wrong mood may fool the listener into believing he or she is being skull-fucked in a middle of a funeral, or something like that, if you know what I mean.

Essentially ambient-inclined and ritualistic (almost shamanic in parts), Valborg have created some of the most beautiful, sad, alienating and depressing musical moments captured so clearly and so elegantly on this fine, fine recording. Like a soundtrack for the heart-broken, this immense and sweeping lullaby reaches out and captures the soul and squeezes, hard, until one's heart is ready to explode with regrets and the mourning of childhood lost, with the loss of the beloved ones as well as the self, mourning the inevitable process of giving in helplessly to the forces of time, getting old, crumbling, eroding, rotting away.

An array of sweet/sour emotions does this magnificent album contain, and in turn conjure. With simple, straightforward melodies of sustained chords, some keyboards, an incredibly basic drumwork and a phenomenal vocalist, 'Romantik' is avantgarde in the sense it offers a very different, peculiarly-structured, oddly-sounding rock/metal combo of sorts, a hybrid of both that eventually sounds like none. In the end, no musical group one can think of, sounds like Valborg; this band is unique and one of its kind - a rare beast.

To capture the essence of Valborg's 5th studio offering, one needs to be intimately acquainted with the concept of tragedy. for this album trudges in the mires of tragedy like almost no other album out there. This album is like a decadent cabaret show all dedicated to loss and the subsequent despair; dedicated to the feeling of emptiness, the cutting pangs of regret: what if? what if?

Valborg are one of Germany's best kept secrets. As mentioned, with five full length albums under their belt (at least two of which are amazing), not many know about this unique musical entity. Do you? 'Romantik' is probably where it all culminates, where Valborg's immense talent and musical expressive prowess explode in a spectacular show of dark fireworks; 'Romantik' sounds like something that has been dragged from the armpits of the soul, where it's dank and dark and smells like rot, a musical beautiful corpse that has been dissected and sliced into slices of dark spacey rock, chunks of dark, plodding metal and bits and pieces of transcendental ambiance. This corpse is so musically beautiful, listening to this album feels almost like being engaged in necrophiliac intercourse. Romantik, with a K, feels like Nekrotik, doesn't it? Necrotic music for the soul, to deaden it further by waves of sheer bliss, terror and endless beauty. Oh, there's that light in the end of the tunnel. Something's pulling me toward the light. Oh, wait, it is Valborg's 'Romantik'!

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Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. Vampyr
2. Blitz Aus Sodom
3. Comtesse
4. Sulphur Vitriol Angel
5. Kryptische Arroganz
6. The Haunted Womb

Duration : Approx. 40 minutes

Visit the Valborg bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-09-30 by Chaim Drishner
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