VHÄLDEMAR - Straight to Hell - (Traditional Heavy Metal) Reviewed By Dutch Metal Maniac! Check it out here at this link: https://www.dutchmetalmaniac.com/2020/10/review-vhaldemar-straight-to-hell/
Maybe it’s the cheesy theatrics, the lack of grit, or just good old “not my cup of tea”, but I don’t like power metal. Or so I thought, until this years Ross The Boss record Born of Fire swept me off my feet with awesome riffing, just enough cheese to be epic, yet enough grit to be heavy. Maybe with age comes softness (or wisdom?), and I let myself find enjoyment on the edges of this scary realm that is power metal land? Why do I bring this up here? It’s because I picked Vhäldemar’s new release Straight To Hell from the promo list due to the fact that their single Afterlife reminded me a lot of Ross The Boss. Now that I have the full record here for review, this impression is reinforced quite a bit.
Let’s take a step back. Vhäldemar are from Barakaldo in beautiful Basque Country, and they have been around since 1999. I have not come across them before, probably due to my aforementioned aversion to the word power in connection with anything metal. Straight To Hell is their sixth full length, and I am glad I gave it a shot. With only 36 minutes over 9 songs it is not overly long, but the average run time of 4 minutes per song fits to the snappy heavy metal anthems that populate this album. The instrumental work here is pretty much flawless. The riffing can be fast and frantic like on album opener My Spirit, but often settles into a more pushing and heavy, slowed down tempo like on Death to the Wizard. The solos, whether delivered by guitar or keyboard (or most often both), are always a beautiful blend of shredding virtuosity and melodic awesomeness, and put a big fat grin on my face. This is the kind of stuff that makes a teenager want to pick up a guitar and start a band.
The biggest asset from my point of view is Carlos Escudero on vocals though. So often power metal vocalists, while skilled without end, just fail to engage me in the epic stories they tell, as they lack grit and character. Not Mr. Escudero though. With a voice that can both deliver sandpaper-like roughness and high-pitched yells, he delivers one epic chorus after the other that makes me want to ride into battle next to him with my breast swelled with pride and my axe held high. I also admire that after more than 20 years into the existence of the band, they have not gone soft at all. There’s nothing on this record that could really be titled a “ballad”, the only thing coming close is the slowest and most epic track When it’s all over, but even here there is power and energy.
So here it is, I officially like a power metal record. A lot. If you like guitars, riffs, epicness, metal… you should definitely check out Vhäldemar’s Straight To Hell.
“ Death To The Wizard !” is the new video clip of the Spanish Heavy Metal band VHÄLDEMAR , their 6th album " Straight to Hell ", which will be released on October 6th, 2020 on CD, 12"LP and Cassette formats through Fighter Records , MDD Records in G/A/S and Red Rivet Records in Japan.
You can watch the video here:
Production of "Straight to Hell" took place at the Chromaticity Studios of the band's guitarist and producer Pedro J. Monge and cover design has been made by Darkgrove (Manowar, Battle Beast, Testament ...)
Vhäldemar was born in the late 90s in Bizkaia, when guitarist Pedro J. Monge decided to create a Heavy Metal band together with singer and guitarist Carlos Escudero.
In June 2001 they recorded a demo that served to sign with Arise Records, with whom they released their debut album, "Fight to the End", in March 2002. This album was released throughout Europe, Japan, Russia, North and South America. .
At the end of 2003 VHÄLDEMAR publishes his second album, "I Made my Own Hell", again with Arise Records
In 2007 they performed at the Bilbao BBK Live Festival and released their third album “Metal of the World”. In August 2012 they performed at the Leyendas del Rock Festival and at the Ripollet Rock Festival.
"Shadows of Combat" their fourth album is released in 2013
In 2017 they signed a contract with Fighter Records for several albums, the first release was the reissue of their first two albums "Fight to the End" ('02) and "I Made my Own Hell" ('03) on a double CD, with 5 bonus tracks and totally remastered sound that was released on April 21, 2017.
On May 4, they released the digipack EP entitled “Old King's Visions” with 5 songs that serve as a preview of their new album "Against All Kings" which is released in November 2017 through Fighter Records worldwide and RRR. in Japan.
In 2018 Fighter Records reissues the album "Shadows Of Combat"
In 2019 Fighter Records reissues the album "Metal Of The World"
The presentation tour of the album "Against All Kings" has taken them during 2018 - 2019 to perform 42 concerts in Spain, Japan, Russia, Holland and France.
Vhäldemar have been present at national festivals such as Resurrection Fest, Leyendas Del Rock, Z Live, Atalaya Rock Fest, Metal Norte, Galia Metal Fest, Dimetal ...
Carlos Escudero - Voice
Pedro J. Monge - Guitar
Raúl Serrano - Bass
Jandro - Drums
Jonkol Tera - Keyboards