The Antagonist’s Fire by Valkyrja (W.T.C. Productions)
Combining the ferocity of Black Metal with a grand sense of melody, Valkyrja from Sweden has raised the bar and then fearlessly burnt it all to ashes. The Antagonist’s Fire is an absolute genre masterpiece – seven brilliant tracks of sonic devastation that will fill your soul with an intense hatred for all things benevolent. A staggering assault to the senses that will leave the listener reeling, The Antagonist’s Fire is certainly an epic way to cap off 2013! Why this album was not released on Metal Blade this time around is a mystery, but the mighty W.T.C. Productions (aka World Terror Committee) has unleashed this plague unto the world at large – and what a monstrous work of dark art this one is!
Betrayal Incarnate is the massive opening track on The Antagonist’s Fire, a magnum opus destined to be an all-time black metal classic. With its grim atmosphere and towering sonic landscapes, this cut will mercilessly grab you by the throat and leave you desperately gasping for air. The Cremating Fire then tears up your speakers with a suffocating intensity that is wondrous to behold. Madness Redeemer will find you wandering through the foreboding halls in a heated rage, ready to slash and burn everything in sight.
The pyre ignites into overdrive with the dynamic Yearn To Burn followed by the darkly glorious refrains of Eulogy (Poisoned, Ill and Wounded). Season Of Rot then thrashes away with its tyrannical sense of condemnation, leveling all in its wake. And then closing out The Antagonist’s Fire is the tremendous Treading the Path of the Predator, leaving a lingering impression with its relentless yet dazzling 9-plus minutes of sweltering intrigue.
In the past, Valkyrja has toured with metal legends such as Gorgoroth, Vader and Marduk. With albums as powerful as The Antagonist’s Fire, it won’t be long before Valkyrja find themselves within the ranks of the black metal elite, headlining shows all over the world. A breakthrough album to be sure, The Antagonist’s Fire by Valkyrja is an immense masterwork that is not to be missed!
(Review by Ken Morton)
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