Album Review: Valborg – Der Alte

As they’ve reached their 20th year in existence, Germany’s Valborg are stripping down to bare brutal bones on their new album Der Alte. The experimental three-piece are shelving the fancy keyboards and turning up the gain on both the guitars and bass to disgusting proportions. Unhinged vocals sung in German by Christian Kolf (guitars) and Jan Buckard (bass) are sicced on the listener without mercy–think Rammstein in gore-grind form.

“Asbach” kicks off with guitar noise and abstract screaming and then jumps into anthemic grinding choruses repeating its title. “Hoehle Hoelle” follows with spacey groove verses accompanied by unrhythmic wailing. After these first two songs, it’s clear that Valborg are in a feisty mood. The droning, distorted bass intro in “Kommando aus der Zukunft” means business as it ushers in a crunchy beatdown, and the heavily reverberated bellows roaring throughout the track spiral a dingy tunnel, adding to the band’s gritty ambiance.

The science fiction theme of Der Alte is prevalent in “Saturn Eros Xenomorph” as it flaunts alien-like clean vocals during its bridge and astro-synths in the ending breakdown. Dark and disturbing vibes are generated by the lagging blast beats and ominous guitar chords in the single, “Hektor”, and also via angry, throaty snarls.

The title track follows and creeps along with a slimy bass line and a drowning clean guitar riff. The alternating between anguished yells and moans truly gives the song a claustrophobic quality. Where you’ll find the most monolithic groove on the full-length is in the verses of “Mortum”. And if you want to hear what a demonically possessed Gollum (Lord of the Rings) sounds like, check out the vocals in “Verdacht im Palast”–chilling.

The mind-bending space voyage concludes mightily with “Mutter des boesen Sterns”. Its intro features a harsh, Slayer-esque groove that navigates along the ride cymbal and is accentuated by fill-in barks. The haunting chorus houses vocals that sound like they’re plucked from confessional tapes.

Make no mistake, Der Alte is a relentless attack on the psyche via its raw and unconventional delivery. Credit is due to Markus Siegenhort (LANTLOS) for the sonic barbarism since he produced, mixed, and mastered the odd composition. The 13-track mindfuck is released via Lupus Lounge.

Buy the album here.

Follow the band on Facebook.

VALBORG on tour with MANTAR
14 JUL 2022 Bremen (DE) Tower +Mantar (SOLD OUT)
09 SEP 2022 Hannover (DE) Bei Chez Heinz +Mantar +Nightmarer
16 SEP 2022 Köln (DE) Essigfabrik +Mantar +Nightmarer
23 SEP 2022 München (DE) Backstage Werk +Mantar +Nightmarer
24 SEP 2022 Hamburg (DE) Fabrik +Mantar +Nightmarer
29 SEP 2022 Wiesbaden (DE) Schlachthof  +Mantar +Nightmarer
30 SEP 2022 Stuttgart (DE) Im Wizemann +Mantar +Nightmarer
01 OCT 2022 Nürnberg (DE) Z-Bau +Mantar +Nightmarer
07 OCT 2022 Rostock (DE) Zwischenbau +Mantar +Nightmarer
08 OCT 2022 Berlin (DE) C-Theater +Mantar  +Nightmarer

Photography by Peter Sawicki

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