Hildr Valkyrie - _Shield Brothers of Valkyrie_
(Stygian Crypt Productions, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (5.5 out of 10)
Hildr Valkyrie (which is not what her mother calls her) is best known as one of the stalwarts of international folk metal ensemble Folkearth, and presumably her work with the collective provided her with the connections and experience to dust off a three year old demo, and re-record it with a few extra songs tossed in. Her strength is her voice, but it's largely wasted on inexorable "aahs" and "eehs", presumably in an attempt to provide additional atmosphere on an album already choking on it. Nor is her voice consistently strong, and it falters on the Bathory and Falkenbach covers, sounding nasal and off-key rather than an, um, valkyrie. The choice of covers is obvious, given that her solo efforts sound much like _Hammerheart_ overlaid with ambient textures. It's fairly basic, with some rudimentary drumwork, fewer than expected guitar riffs and some shockingly keyboard lines that sound cheap and nasty where they sound resonate with headfast bombast. Despite the obvious Bathory overtones, this is unlike anything else floating around in the Viking pantheon, with the possible exception of Ereb Altor, but creativity is not good enough in and of itself.

Contact: http://www.hildrvalkyrie.com/

(article published 24/12/2009)

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