Least Worst Option
is the new and independently operated media review project of long-time Masterful Magazine scribe Wouter Roemers. He will remain with us, while doing his own project. The goal is to cover metal records, both old and new, in greater length and detail on comparison to the more compact reviews people have come to expect here. Least Worst Option will cover mostly metal records, but will occasionally venture into pop territory to keep things interesting, coverage of old and new video games is something to be found there as well. Check out all of this and more at www.leastworstoption.com
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I had some material done already before the demise of Lord Belial. Some of the material was actually intended for the next Lord Belial album, but since we disbanded I changed around all of the ideas into new songs.
I don’t really consider it that much superior. But we KEPT the quality from 1st to 4th album, and that is something that is not easy to do! And I think there will come a 5th album that will kick just as much ass.
Valborg - "Barbarian" (Germany)
Zeitgeister Musik Distribution/The End Records
After the formidable "Crown Of Sorrow" German atmospheric death metal combo Valborg return with "Barbarian". Like its predecessor "Barbarian" is compromised of traditional midpaced sorrowful death metal in the vein of (early) My Dying Bride and Amorphis. The vocals consist of grunts and heroic spoken passages. These vocals are split between guitarist Christian Kolf and bassist Jan Buckard. The spoken vocals are very similar to Cathedral's Lee Dorrian, circa "Forest Of Equilibrium". "Barbarian" is the closing chapter of the trilogy started with "Glorification Of Pain" (2009) and "Crown Of Sorrow" (2010). Valborg distill the death/doom metal sound of yore to its bare essentials, using its minimalism to accentuate its inherent heaviness, much like American cult doom combo Winter. The riffs are of the classic Celtic Frost - and early Swedish death metal variety (At the Gates' "Gardens Of Grief" EP comes to mind), the slowly unfolding guitar leads/solos and harmonies are distinctively European and thoroughly morose. "Barbarian", like the records before it, excels in creating a brooding and dark atmosphere, which is something the majority of extreme metal bands miss today. Like the old masters Valborg strive to create an eerie and evil sounding atmosphere. Valborg are not out to challenge any of their peers on the level of technicality and speed, but focus on writing engaging songs that flow organically and take the listener on a journey. In comparison to most of today's sterile and flat production jobs "Barbarian" sounds naturally organic and possesses an analogue warmth and smoothness. The drum engineering by Roland Hillmann deserve a special mention as they sound as natural as they possibly can, reinstating the kickdrums as a tool to provide thundering bottom end heaviness. Recorded at Stonehenge Studios with producer Oliver Weiskopf. Mastered by Tom Kvalsvoll at Strype Audio (Emperor, Limbonic Art, Zyklon) in Oslo, Norway. "Barbarian" is a fitting conclusion to a trilogy dedicated to bringing traditionalism back to the death metal genre.http://www.zeitgeistermusic.comWouter 7
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