Death metal and black metal are particularly renowned for their OTT, gory and provocative subject matter, imaginative or otherwise. With such titles as ‘Tank Torture’ and ‘Blessings Of The Goat’, you really have to hope that black metallers Valdur are doing so with some tongue in cheek, surely? That said, the lack of imagination here does suit the solid if not spectacular formula of latest effort Pathetic Scum (Bloody Mountain).
Following a split from guitarist/vocalist Thor, their sound veered from some of its pagan influences and melodicism, now with a rawer and visceral edge, one more typical and standard to the genre. There is little that differentiates this from many of their peers, with many clichés and traits. Album opener ‘Tank Torture’ (sigh) for example immediately starts with furious blastbeats and just about continues throughout with very little character.
Not that it is terrible by any stretch, in fact overlooking its lack of imagination and own identity Pathetic Scum is a very solid effort, and one that doesn’t outstay its welcome at only six tracks long and approximately half an hour long. Songs like ‘Impending Doom’ and the title track seemingly fly by, whilst the closing track ‘Morbid Emanations’ shows some more adventure within its 7 minutes, dropping into an eerie, near clean passage, proving the album’s highlight.
By no means a terrible effort, Pathetic Scum is an unspectacular album with very few talking points, character or imagination. Fortunately at its short duration it won’t prove too taxing a listen, but for those more familiar with the genre it will provide very little.