Walhalla - _Firereich_
(Root of All Evil, 2000)
by: Aaron McKay (8 out of 10)
I can't decide if this is simply balls-out aggressive metal or black metal. Very spectacular in its diversity -- style crossing back over itself in an ever-elusive genre pinpointing exercise. Whatever the band calls itself and whatever you deem it necessary to dub it, I like Walhalla's style. Rock steady beats thick with groves and excellent guitar work sounding similar at times to Witchery's _Restless & Dead_, especially in the vocal area. Members from Thy Serpent, Soulgrind and Gloomy Grim form an iron nucleus for Walhalla's explosive reactions. Seek out the second track, "Helldivizion" about the two minute mark for some catchy vocal blasting and infinitely crunchy guitar that loops back again in the song toward the end of the track. Also, the opening to "Warsong666" (the cut immediately following "Helldivizion") is awe-inspiring, as is the song's chugging progression. The tempo inches faster with tacks like "Black Cross Burning", "Winterfuhrer" and most certainly "War Over Norland". The most interesting aspect to this inaugural full-length effort from Finland's Walhalla is the hidden cut at the end of track ten, "Firereich". Let me say when hearing this effort for the first time in my truck coming back from a long weekend vacation, I about drove into the ditch with electrified laughter and enjoyment. Not many bands have the balls to record Bon Jovi's "Runaway", let alone do a killer job at making it sound like inspired black and old school thrash metal.

(article published 25/10/2000)


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