I’ve had a hard time getting into any of Zeitgeister Music’s recent releases (Woburn House, Skarab, Klabautamann), but after seeing so much praise heaped upon Valborg and their previous  albums and most current release Nekrodepression, by many of my respected peers and close friends in the metal journalism world,  I felt I should give another Zeitgeister band ago.

Sorry guys. I still don’t get it.

First off, this is my first exposure to Valborg (sorry Jordan Campbell- I never even listened to that downloaded promo of Barbarian) so I can’t comment of compare to previous releases other than the band still apparently retain their quirky off kilter take on typically eclectic German black /doom metal.

The name I’ve seen thrown around amid all the praise I’ve seen is Tryptikon/Celtic Frost (Monotheist) and that seems fitting based on these listens. Throw in some native eccentricity, atmospherics and oddball time structures as well as some innate Teutonic moods a la Secrets of the Moon and the band’s label mates, you get some idea of the band’s rather undefinable sound. Though to be honest- Valborg‘s sound is so foreign to me, I’m having a hard time describing it, so take all that with a grain of salt.

So, I imagine to some, its this ‘undefinable-ness’ an ‘foreign-ness’  is what makes Valborg essential to many. The Semi chanted/spoken German vocals littered with deeper grunts and screams, the off kilter time changes and the oft meandering, plodding pacing, the either droning or scatter shot riffs all seem typically German in their measured  and precise manic-ness. However, I personally don’t see the allure, preferring the relative safety of catchy or memorable riffs and structured songs over creative escapism and unpredictability. And the rare moment when Valborg do settle into a steady traditional metal gait and  straight forward riff (i.e “Kloster”, “Under the Cross”, “Massaker in St Urstein”) I can see the allure.  But other wise, the likes of “Sakrale Vernichtung”, ” Ich fresse die alte Sommernacht”, “Zyklop”,  “Springtime Woman” and “Tempelberg” just bore me to fucking tears  rather than enthrall with their  minimalist plod and rather haughty artistic expressionism .

But no doubt the elite of the elite listeners, those wearing black turtle necks,  listening to Krautrock and attend poetry reading a well as listen to metal, will no doubt ‘get’ this as they sneer down on us lowly metal Neanderthals though their hipster glasses (Am I the only one of picture Deiter  Sprockets listening to this?). But hey- metal is often about exploration and I applaud Valborg for being off the beaten path.

Bear in mind, this is all merely one person’s lowly opinion,  and I imagine this is the kind of release  that folks who enjoyed the latest Necrovation release will enjoy, as it sort of a barrier breaking, envelope shredding, structureless, sonic exhibitionism that many folks enjoy. So go ahead, I’m going to listen to the new Zombified. Journalistic credibility be damned.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 14th, 2013


  1. Commented by: Dimaension X

    I can imagine Deiter retorting with, “I find your review banal and tiresome. This music is both beautiful and angular. Now ve DANCE!”

    I find myself wanting to hear actual grooves and riffs in music. Experimenting is great and all, but give me something I can tap my foot to and bang my head. This record doesn’t.

  2. Commented by: Dimaension X

    Yah know – I’m gonna take back my own comment up there. I actually like this the more I listen to it. It’s actually a good combination of the avant-garde with brutal atmosphere.

    Deiter would probably say, “My own comments were irritating and insulting. Would you care to strike me?”

  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I kind of like this. not amazing, but decent.

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