Canada’s answer to Arkona comes with the name of Valfreya, and their debut full-length release titled “Path to Eternity” showcases the band’s talents. Fronted by Crook, the band’s charismatic female vocalist, Valfreya delivers a good 50 minutes of an intense mixture of Melodic Black Metal with Folk Metal elements, perfectly balanced to create epic moments similar to the ones created by bands like Wintersun, Equilibrium and Turisas.
With the intro track bleeding into “Deity's Grace”, the band quickly establishes a very regal sound with a crystal clear production. Gradually increasing its intensity, “Path to Eternity” is a very well-crafted album that showcases a promising band with a very rich sound. Alternating between angelic clean vocals and demonic harsh screams, Crook does an excellent job in carrying the band through the 10 tracks presented in this release.
The lush keyboards of songs like “Inferno” and “Condemned World” nicely create the Folk atmosphere without saturating the listener with all kinds of shit going on, something that we highly appreciate from Valfreya, keeping stuff to the point and very aggressive in the process. The un-avoidable hyper ‘folky’ song like “Beyond Illusions” is actually very well balanced between awesome guitar work, excellent clean vocals, and an overall sense of melody that is very hard to craft. This song feels both epic and folkish, without being overbearing.
In songs like “Condemned World” and “My Everlasting Star” the band goes all Bal-Sagoth on things and delivers very emotional pieces that are quite entertaining to hear. The band’s guitarists have a very nice ear when it comes to delivering powerful sections and they perfectly know when to step back and let the other elements of the music shine. The drums are very precise and feature some interesting patterns here and there and a good dosage of double-kick sections as well. Our favorite track has to be “My Everlasting Star” and its excellent melodic vocal passages.
If you are looking for a release that is both melodic and intense, “Path to Eternity” is a good option for people that enjoy an overall Folk/Fantasy theme in their music. Valfreya is an excellent band that has enough potential to rival any European ‘big name’ band at their craft, and people should give them the attention they need so don’t miss out on this excellent release.
|Band: Valfreya||Album: Path to Eternity|
|Label: Maple Metal Records||
Release: May, 2012
|Genre: Melodic Black/Folk Metal||