Ren Marabou – Valhalla Waits
Band: Ren Marabou
Title: Valhalla Waits
Genre: Viking Metal
Label: Misanthropik Records
Release Date: 1st May 2021
1. Guide me to Asgard
2. Axe in my back (Loki)
3. The Fallen of Ragnarok
4. Prophecy of the Seer (Freya)
5. Put to the sword
6. Bitter Heart
8. The Wanderer (Odin)
9. Storm the beaches
10. Champion of Midgard (Thor)
Mythology is generally a source of inspiration for all artists, whether musicians or writers, in this case, or rather in the case of Ren Marabou, the inspiration is drawn from Norse mythology as well as pagan folklore. Ren Marabou is an Irish multi-instrumentalist who has produced five albums so far. "Valhalla Waits' is his latest album, which encompasses tales of Norse mythology, taking us back in time to heavy riffs, intense melodies and the songs of ancient warriors. the songs of ancient warriors. In "Valhalla Waits" we find a harmonious variety of musicality, keyboard passages, very rich by the way, Celtic guitars, medieval atmosphere, violin and that magical aura that shines in all ancient tales, it always depends on who is telling them.
"The Wanderer (Odin)" is centred on a medieval base, with a baroque intro given by the sound of the lute, a decidedly melodic, pleasant song with guitar virtuosity; there is also a prog sound and it is probably the lightest track on the album. We move on to the aggressive "Guide Me To Asgard", which combines speed with screams of terror (or death?); we continue with speed in the following track "Axe In The Back", which is aggressive in its entirety, even in the chorus. Much darker in "The Fallen of Ragnarok" and it's also a very interesting track, especially the riffs and the solo. it's a song with serious tones, in its context, given the story it tells, the piece reflects what it represents.
"Prophecy Of The Seer (Freya)" has an immediate impact thanks to its intro, with the same serious sounds as the previous track and also in this piece, this dark aura fits very well with the figure of the goddess Freya and with an explosive finale. "Put to the sword" is very aggressive, bordering on hardcore, but it doesn't do what it wants to express, maybe it's just my idea of warrior Vikings but I can't find a precise connection although the aggressiveness of the track is comparable to a war tumult. The following "Bitter Heart" is better, continuing with a more progressive line than the previous track, which is better and with good composition ideas. "Put To The Sword" - Slightly more deathy intro, with some slight alternative inflections. Once again, the sound of street action shows through. It's very congruent lyrically, though. Yet the overall audio impact and loose rhythms clash with the Viking theme, pointing to action movie territory rather than evocations of Viking warriors.
“Yggdrasil” is an acoustic ballad with a Baroque flavor that passes to Celtic, an interesting and evocative piece with soft tones and voices. I introduce by a heavy riff, "Storm The Beaches" is emphatic, perhaps exaggerated but overall pleasant. "The wanderer Odin" is another interesting song, with the embellishment of the harp that gives that folk touch that stands out well. “Storm the beaches” is a really powerful piece, a march towards one battle. Well structured and incisive.
Folk sound for "Champion Of Midgard (Thor)" with the violin section, and the heavier sound in the whole piece is perfect for a imaginary warriors, it has an own strong and impressive personality.
Overall 'Valhalla Awaits' is a coherent album, with a hard rock sound and melodies, technically good, weak from the point of view of classic Viking Metal, it is still an excellent album that approaches the genre from the seventh track "Yggdrasil".
It deserves a listen for the professionalism and for being surrounded by a magical aura.