Valhom - _Despair_
(Ars Magna Recordings, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Valhom is another entrant to the ever increasing phalanx of blackened one-man missions, but Lord Temptation is able to imbue his project with sufficient innovation to allow it to rise above the humdrum masses. "Innovation" is used in a broad sense; his necrotized riffs suggest several pages have been borrowed from Darkthrone's grimoire, but differentiated through a clarity and precision that is sadly infrequently heard within the genre. Despite the clarity of production, there is a notable aversion to bass, and keys surface at times, often overshadowing the guitar.

Valhom's third opus is filled with a variety of emotions, but despair is not one of them; and if it is present, it is hidden with the ingenuity of a drug mule, amongst the anger, hate and similar emotions. There is a tendency to rely upon frantic tempos, only occasionally slowing the pace, but sufficient shifts are maintained to provide for an intriguing listen.

As mentioned above, the originality quotient is reaching empty, but the combination of a production and performance of superior quality to the majority of solo misanthropic missions has created one of the few one-man projects whose presence is to be welcomed and not derided.


(article published 16/2/2008)

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