Something evil lurks in Mammoth Lakes, California, where Mt. Whitney meets Death Valley: For 10 years, a force of three malcontents raised on the icy winds of black metal and the oppressive heat of death metal have plied their craft in relative obscurity. Now, with the addition of new guitarist and vocalist Samuel, who joined the cabal in 2012, Valdur are poised to burst beyond their hermetic confines and into the ravenous extreme metal scene. The band’s third full-length, At War With, is haunting and savage, unrelenting in its assault, whether Valdur are riding a wave of blast beats on “Conjuring the Fire Plagues” or adding moans and guitar trills to “At War With the Old World.” To enhance the vibe, Valdur deploy a range of sound effects: creepy, layered Satanic banter in “Enter,” an echo-drenched “Blade Runner” sample on “Hellish Dischord” and tolling bells on the mid-paced “Hammer Pit.” Despite the title There’s nothing political about At War, but Valdur effectively communicate an urgent, all-consuming fear.
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