Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Interview with Valdrin (USA) and review to album "Beyond the Forest"

Tonight, Lachryma Christi wants to share with you an interview with a very special band from USA called Valdrin. For those who don't know, Valdrin formed in 2010 and released an album last year called Beyond the Forest (of which you may find a review in the bottom of the page just after the intereview). And why are these guys special? Because they are so good. It is not easy to find such good Black Metal bands nowadays. Let's now read the very interesting words of Carter Hicks.

What does Valdrin mean?

When we came up with the name Valdrin, we were simply trying to create a name for the main character in our story. His full name is Valdrin Ausadjur. Ausadjur is a made up word that means "mediating force" or "god of balance." We thought we made up the name Valdrin as well, but it turns out its an Albanian name that can be used for a male/female and it means a "wave" I believe.

When was the band formed? Can you tell a bit of the story?

The band was formed in late 2010, before that we were playing the same music under the name Dawn of Wolves but we decided to change the name due to us having a completely different line up than the original Dawn of Wolves. The name Valdrin was a natural choice as it is the name of the protagonist in our story. 

What are your lyrics about? Where do you get the inspiration for them?

The lyrics are conceptual and they deal with what we call the "Wolf Ausadjur Mythos." There is a manifesto on our FB page that introduces the concept and laws that govern the "Wolf Ausadjur Mythos" and sets up the listener/reader for the events that follow in the album "Beyond The Forest." It would take a long time to go into full detail about the events of the story. But in a very, very short summarization: it begins with the soul of Valdrin entering the underworld known as "The Orcus" (Latin:Underworld) after his earthly suicide. The events that follow involve Valdrin traversing the Orcus landscape and eventually finding a divine spiritual reason for his arrival in the Orcus realm. Its filled with many twists, turns and revelations that give the story a great flow, with a lot of action as well as mystery and suspense. The perfect way to begin what will eventually become a very lengthy chronology with many volumes (albums/novels)

(photo can be found on the band's facebook page)

How does the composing process works for you? What comes first, next…?

From my end, I compose songs by myself and record them. Usually, i'll program some basic drum parts based on my ideas of how the song should flow. After the music is recorded, I sit back and listen to it for a few days and let the music paint a picture in my mind. Words start to appear in my mind over certain parts and I just let the song tell me the story, if that makes sense. Concerning "Beyond The Forest," I really just wrote short stories about a character experiencing many trials and tribulations in a dark, foreboding underworld. Once I knew the album was done, I assembled the songs into a certain magical order and a story was formed. All the songs aligned together and I was able to see connections that I never knew were there. That was the moment when I knew that I must write a book to really get the full story out there. 

Nowadays I write music in a similar fashion but due to having Ryan on drums now, i'm able to write a lot with the band as we rehearse. Our new material is done in a much more collaborative way and the story has taken us into much darker realms as people will see in the music/lyrics of the next album.

Are you happy with the results and reaction of the public to your album Beyond the Forest?

Definitely, the reviews have been great, Blast Head Records has done good with getting it distributed well. Im very pleased that the album has reached out to so many people. It was an album forged in isolation and worked at for many years by the lineup at the time. So far, the reaction to the material live has been very positive. We've played a lot around the Ohio/Kentucky area, we are just building up our connections and getting ready to do a proper tour. I cant guarantee how soon this will be but its most definitely in the works.
What are your favourite artists? 

Well....to name some important artists that have influenced me: Bathory, Pink Floyd, Nobuo Uematsu, Morbid Angel, Possessed, Sarcofago, Sabbat (JAP), Destruction, Sodom, Windir, Dissection, Xasthur, Peste Noire, The Chasm, Order From Chaos, Voivod, Inquisition, Jeehun Hwang, Endless Dismal Moan, Sigh, Immortal, Blut Aus Nord, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate, Venom.....many more of course but those are certainly bands that have influenced me tremendously as an artist and as a person. These bands continue to inspire me to be unique and to defy the limitations that this trendy world creates.

(photo can be found on the band's facebook page)

Certainly people are waiting for some other release coming out at some point soon. Is there something on the way?

Yes indeed, we have begun recording a mini-album entitled "Two Carrion Talismans" it should be finished somewhere in mid 2015. We will see. We are constantly writing but unfortunately recording albums does take a lot of money. We won't let these things stop us though, we are very driven to record this hateful new sound we have. 

Cliché question now.  Bands don’t like to answer to this, but it is important and sometimes very interesting to know the opinion of some bands. How do you see the Black Metal scene nowadays?

By the sheer amount of people into this music, id say it only gets bigger every year. But as far as the amount of great bands, its simply nothing compared to what it used to be. Im just speaking from my perspective, being born in 92'. When I look back at all the innovation and ground breaking stuff that took place in extreme metal from the years 1981-1994 its just mind blowing. The amount of amazing bands putting out milestone records each year was just insane. In 1985 you could hear Hell Awaits, Seven Churches, The Return...., To Mega Therion, Infernal Overkill, Endless Pain, Power From Hell....all in the same year. Nowadays we wait 3-4 years for the new Inquisition, Portal, Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord...ect. Yes there are great albums that come out in between that and I cant say I know everything because I mostly stick to 80s/early 90s metal. However, I still feel that the bands I just named are some of the few that continue to innovate. Being innovative is the key, and maybe things will get better. There is definitely some cool bestial black/death stuff going on right now like Prosanctus Inferi and Perdition Temple, and there are more people into black/death metal then ever i'm sure. So its not all bad, we will see what the future holds!

Anything else you would like to add to this interview? Any message you would like to leave to everyone who is reading you, anything you would like to advertise?

Hails to our supporters worldwide! Hails to our fellow warriors in the Wolven Brotherhood! And thank you for the interview!

(photo can be found on the band's facebook page)

Line up:

Carter Hicks: Guitar/Synth Guitar/Vocals
James Lewis: Bass
Ryan Maurmeier: Drums

Review: Beyond the Forest (2013)

So here are a few words to share what Beyond The Forest means to Lachryma Christi. Let's not stand for the preconceived idea that good Black Metal can only come from Europe, more specifically from North Europe. It might have had roots there and so on, and obviously there are really good bands there, pioneers, masters!, but Lachryma Christi has been taken by surprise for a few American bands a few times already, and Valdrin is one of the best examples of that. Everything is good in there, they are great musicians, play their songs and instruments with so much dedication that you can even feel that sentiment when you listen to them. There are a few death metal influences in there, you can notice that by certain details, but is not very serious thing and sounds really cool in the whole thing. The voice is awesome too, full of power and emotion and keeps company to everything else in perfection. So much virtue, quality, pleasure in this record. Production is at the same level.

You can find more music and information of Valdrin here:


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