Valkyrie’s “Shadows” Marries Metal with Calculated Precision

Released earlier this month, Valkyrie’s new album Shadows begins with no hesitation. The first song, “Mountain Stomp,” sounds like it begins in the middle of a song, with its booming guitar riffs and drums immediately launching the listener into an energetic jam. From loosely electronic, fast-paced guitar solos to head-banging, wailing vocals from brothers Jake and Pete Adams, Shadows stands its ground as a solid heavy rock album.

Since they formed in Virginia in 2002, Valkyrie have released three full-length albums, among other various releases. Shadows, however, is Valkyrie’s first LP in close to seven years. Their previous album Man of Two Visions was released in 2008 through Noble Origin, a label formed by the band itself.

“Mountain Stomp” drifts seamlessly into “Golden Age,” one of the more vocal-heavy songs on the album, and then to “Temple,” a song that displays the band’s versatility, quickly alternating between slower, more precise tones and piercing, electric guitar riffs, which intensify into impressively manic solos.

Photo by Greg Enxel via the Artist

Photo by Greg Enxel via the Artist

The momentum created in the first set of songs stays consistent through out the album’s seven tracks. “Wintry Plains” especially packs a punch – the song was originally recorded on a five-song demo in 2003, but was reworked for Shadows twelve years later, which must be a nostalgic treat for the band and their longtime fans.

Echoes (Of the Ways We Lived)” stands out on the album, offering a different variation on Shadows’ steady sound. At some points, the music breaks down into a more technical, math rock-inspired take on metal, which is a welcomed surprise.

Throughout the album’s forty-two minutes, though, one thought remains constant – this is an album that would sound best at maximum volume, echoing throughout a packed live venue with tons of fans. Luckily enough, Valkyrie are passing through Philly on May 29 for their Shadows tour. Go check the band out at the Kung Fu Necktie this Friday – you won’t be disappointed.

Check out Relapse Records’s album preview for Shadows below:

Featured image courtesy of the artist

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