Review from MetalGlory
9th February 2011 - Read Review at metalglory.de
The Londoner formation Valpurgis Night was founded in 2008 and managed to sign a contract with Rising Records already in 2009. The trio debuts with Psalms of Solemn Virtue. Question is whether a combo taken under contract that swiftly is as good as you would expect.
In this case yes. This interesting mixture of Doom and Heavy Metal in combination with NWOBHM and Thrash Metal is quite daring. But it's well done. With Psalms of Solemn Virtue Valpurgis Night present a debut that perhaps needs to be listened to a few times, but then it begins to develop its very own charm rather quickly. The base NWOBHM influence is noticeable throughout, although e.g. the opener has more epic sounding guitars with doom-ish speed. Sword of Damocles shows off the strengths of this band. In it singer and bass player Preacher Edwards with deeper bass and higher voice is pretty contradictory to start with. But once the listener has got the hang and made their peace with this charismatic clear voice, the hardest hurdle is taken. Musically the album is largely influenced by Mercyful Fate / Black Sabbath. The double bass play is usually the driving force creating pressure. Especially in the epic doom passages it really helps to create pressure.
They prove with Council of Dark Shadows that they can compose very well without getting bogged down. The band hymn Valpurgis Night also deserves a positive mention. With calm guitar sounds it effuses a mysterious mood. Jacobís Ford shows the band thrashy side which you wouldn't necessarily have expected on this album. But that song works in contrast to the somewhat lame Death Collector which is otherwise similar. The mixture of epic doom with thrash in this particular make is certainly one of the strangest mixtures of genres.
This debut is rounded out by a good production that sounds a bit old school where all instruments are given freedom to accentuate. In summary, Psalms of Solemn Virtue is an album on which the musicians have done a lot right. The music of this trio has charm and authenticity, the songs are of a high standard and the implementation matches that. The fact that not every little detail sparks and that there are two weaker songs can easily be forgiven.
Songs to try first: Council of Dark Shadows, Sword Of Damocles, Wraith, Valpurgis Night
Conclusion: Good debut that needs a few cycles, but then it's a great mixture of Doom, NWOBHM and Epic Metal.