Genre: Black / Death Metal
Label: Indie Recordings
Vredehammer is the brainchild of Per Valla, a project he decided to start in 2009 after his departure from Allfader and Elite. It soon became a full band and released a debut album named Vinteroffer in 2014, which was a decent black / death metal piece with melodic influences all over it, strongly supporting the band’s Norwegian roots. Valla also contributed in Abbath’s new band as a live coguitarist, but quit that place to focus on another Vredehammer record.
And here we have it, the band’s second offering Violator, with an ominous but beautiful grey cover that glorifies their fetching logo done by Christophe Szpajdel. Cutting the length to thirty three minutes instead of Vinteroffer’s forty five, there are seven tracks at about the same length of four to five minutes, giving away a balanced and selected collection of the band’s material. The production is clean as it can be, so expect nothing less than a polished record.
Violator is guitar driven, as the rest of the instruments pretty much make the way for the guitar melodies to rise and show themselves to the listener. Valla is a great composer and most of the tracks have very interesting riffs in them, as one can listen from the very first track “Light the Fucking Sky”, which has a great introduction and a delightful middleclosing part. The record moves in fast paced tempos almost all the time and the cutting riffs come and go naturally, without overburdening the compositions with too much.
While maintaining a black / death metal character, there are strong elements of modern metal in the tracks as well as the vocals. The listener will stumble upon groovy parts and riffs used in modern / groove metal today, like the middle part of “Spawn Tyrant” or in the lines of “Deadfall”. The introduction of “Cyclone” reminds a lot of the likes of Lamb of God, while the vocals of the record also have that touch, as if Valla was influenced by Randy Blythe in his style. The last track “Blodhevn”, is more straightforward and closes the record with a nice melodic guitar piece.
The fifth song “Ursus” takes a turn towards melodic death metal, built around a riffs that had me thinking if I was listening to Amon Amarth at that moment. By no means a bad track and granted a bit more variety to the whole album, it’s catchy and memorable. “Violator” opens with a simplistic part close to more classic metal and thrash, concluding to the album’s roundup of ingredients. There is something for everyone here.
A trivial drawback of the record to me is the participation of the bass and the drums. I can hardly listen to any bass to be sincere, while the drums tend to be repetitive at times and use blast beats a little too much. It serves it’s purpose as a good background, but playing non stop all the time might leave you tired if you focus only on them.
Presented with a clean sound, the songs in the album blend modern metal with Norwegian extreme metal, convincing me that this will appeal to many people of non similar tastes. Vredehammer did a fine job here and the chances are very good that you’ll have enjoy listening to the album, no matter what your musical background is in the realm of extreme metal.