Jakarta melodic Black Metallers Vallendusk release their fourth full-length album, Heralds Of Strife.
Vallendusk has been around for ten years. They released an EP 2012 and since then have produced three full-length albums, most recently 2018’s Fortress of Primal Grace. There is a vibrant heavy music scene in Indonesia that exists but is not very well known globally because of geographical and other rigidities. If you are looking for a place to dive in, Heralds Of Strife is the perfect opportunity. The band is Rizky (vocals), Valendino Mithos (guitar), Danang Sugianto (guitar), and Derick Prawira (drums).
There are seven long tracks on the album, the shortest clocking in at over seven minutes. I like long songs (I might have mentioned that in this column a couple hundred times before) but of course it can’t just be lengthy – it also has to be good and engaging. You find that at every turn on this album.
The music is Black Metal in style, coursing along the melodic or atmospheric ranges. You hear this in the vocals and the percussion, as well as the up-tempo arrangements. There are slower passages, naturally, but you never forget this is metal music. One thing that is very different about Vallendusk for a Black Metal band are the narrative themes, which tend not to be particularly dark in tone. Going along with this perspective, the riffs and structures are a little lighter, too, than you might hear from other Black Metal bands.
My favorite songs are “Towards The Shimmering Dawn” and “The Sovereign.” Every song on the album is an epic in its conception and structure so you can pick one – any one – or listen all the way through. Either way the melody and the metal are there in an epic presentation. Recommended.
Heralds Of Strife is out now. The digital album is available at Bandcamp, and there is a link there for the limited edition CD from Northern Silence Productions (and a link below, too).
Northern Silence Productions, https://store.northern-silence.de/en/northern-silence/cds/vallendusk-heralds-of-strife-digicd?number=NSP-15518