Valuatir is a real gem of the underground pagan folk black metal scene. They come from France and they were formed in 1997 under the name Inis Gwenva. After 2 demos they changed their name in 2007 to Valuatir and they recorded their first full-length album that was released in 2008 by the Japanese label Armageddon Records.
They play pagan black metal mixed with many folk Celtic instruments and melodies. Their founder Fëarann masters a great variety of traditional instruments, like whistles and countless types of bagpipes that have a very dominating role in their songs, since all the melodic lines are based on them. Valuatir composed some of the best folk tunes I’ve ever heard in this kind of music and their combination with pagan black metal is simply amazing! They use typical, but very powerful and expressive black metal vocals (no mix with clean ones here) all sang in the French language. Lyrics deal with themes from ancient proto-historic times. It is also written in their site that Fëarann does archaeological excavations!
Most of the time their black metal riffing is at fast tempo, and it gets a bit slower when the folk instruments get in and play the lead melodies. All of the 5 songs are long (there are also two intros) and the album lasts for over 43 minutes. They have a very epic atmosphere and their folk tunes don’t sound “happy” or “easy”, but have a real substance. What is most amazing with this album is that Valuatir created the perfect balance between rawness and melody. They can compose excellent pagan black metal and at the same time brilliant Celtic folk music, but especially they can mix them together ideally!
I personally adore this album, as well as many other albums from the French folk black metal scene. If you also like bands like Aes Dana, Heol Telwen, Bran Barr, Diamond Eyed Princess, or even Nydvind, you should get this album without second thoughts. If you are not familiar with this genre you can check their songs in their official pages below.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos