Valborg - Romantik Digi-CD


The only reason I know of Valborg is because they’ve been compared to Triptykon. Triptykon, and Celtic Frost’s final release for that matter, rely on an oppressive darkness and crushing riffing. While there are some discernable similarities between the groups, the lesser known German band Valborg is more stuck in a dream, often unnervingly closer to a nightmare. Romantik is decidedly sinister and gloomy above being plain heavy, channeling a smoothness typically reserved for other styles.

Hinted at on the previous album, Nekrodepression, the real point of interest on Romantik is its atmospheric qualities. The keyboards aid in this, creating a flowing, gliding sensation that develops the overall mood. Sometimes a doom riff will make its way into the forefront (see: opening track Vampyr), but mostly the guitars play simple and stick in the background, where they meld with the rest of the music. Even the vocals, in their many different styles, fail only when they try to overpower the other instruments. No one player stands out, and there is only the flow of the song that creates the overarching ambiance of dreamy doom. Some slight variations in mood, sound, etc. are present (Vampyr sounds pretty damn evil, but Blitz Aus Sodom is relatively uplifting), though each song is generally similar to the next.

I haven’t heard everything that Valborg has done, but from what I have, I wouldn’t necessarily call them death or progressive metal. This album lacks death vocals or even much heaviness but it does at times have an overall feel reminiscent of various death-doom bands. As for its relation to prog metal, by no means am I calling Romantik generic but there’s not a whole lot of unconventionality or even much beyond very simplistic playing going on here. It’s difficult to pin down a genre for this band besides the doom metal. Slow and depressing, it falls right in place.

The unique dreamy/nightmarish atmosphere of Valborg’s latest and the manner in which the instruments blend seamlessly into one soundscape are the main reasons why Romantik is a worthwhile release. Other than that it’s fairly unremarkable, not multifaceted enough to move onto the next level and be great.