Formed in 2010, UK Bath's based trio VALFADER - consisting in Dean (guit/voc), Gaz (drums) and Matt (bass), released its 1st album "Whispers of Chaos" a couple of months ago...
I think it's obvious that VALFADER has already found a great part of its own identity but it's only a debut and just a bit more than 35 minutes is a bit short to affirm that we've got here a new striking sensation who has completely digested various influences from Zeppelin and Sabbath to Opeth and Isis... . On the other hand, one thing sure is that the band incorporates a lot of sounds in their powerful Stoner/Sludge - especially a fair proportion of post Metal, not forgetting hints of psychedelia and Doom for the most hauting and heady parts, and this makes it attractive and creatively much above the average.
"Whisper of Chaos" contains 4 lengthy songs who are crushingly heavy and filled with a lot of atmospheres... If not prominent, the Post Metal affiliation is more to be seen in the rythmic work and some melodic breakdowns but nothing too softened or melancholic at all.
To start this with an 8 minutes long instrumental song (the title track) was something pretty audacious, but monotony is nowhere to be found on this debut, it is so intense and catchy that you don't even notice the absence of vocals until Dean starts to sing on the second song !!! But from then untill the end, you can just deeply enjoy the versatility his vocals have in range and effect.
One thing I felt cool was the reflection that the band's name arouses to me after the 1st listening, something like "oh shit, this name sounds like scandinavian and I hear at several times some hints of northern wild epicness in here"... Sure, there's rarely anything hazardous for such facts... band's name is indeed taken from a Grand Magus song entitled "Chooser of the Slain (Valfader)" ! This Epic touch makes it fresh and exciting at the same time with great anthemic fist-in the air moments like on "Green Sleeps" and "Sacred Spiral", while in those songs too the guitar playing can move away from being solely riff-bass, proving it can find its niche equally in softer moments and heavy ones.
The way VALFADËR blends Stoner, laid-back groove and tone is perfectly highlighted by heavily menacing sound puzzlings with occasional blazing fits of rage - but the pace is never brutal or fast, just slow to mid-tempos with a large pannel of textures, intense and often hazy.
In the end, all this nicely prevent them to be ranged in a precise box but show serious abilities, to the point that with this release now in hands they've been quickly considered as one of the very best new bands of the year from the United Kingdom - where, as everybody knows, concurrency is one of the fiercest on the planet... More than recommended stuff !!!