Once in a while we receive a band that reveals to be very difficult to label due to the immense quantity of Metal subgenres these days. But nevermind, bands are still labeled as good, not so good, and crap. Don’t worry, crap is never used to any Metal band. This title is left for poppers. Of course, not all of them, actually there are some that can even be good or not so good. Nevermind, we’re to talk about Metal and the awesome Wasteland Valley “Pantheon.“
The reason it is so difficult to label Wasteland Valley is due to their subtle, neat, and strong songwriting and to the very personal tone of voice of vocalist Tor Erik Simensen who interweave melodic hardcorish vocals with straight ahead traditional metal singing. He knows his voice is pretty nasal and uses some technique to make it sound more brilliant. Wasteland Valley write songs as if they were writing stories. So, each song gets a garment that suits them so well in order to make the listener gets the vibe of the story. Therefore, “Pantheon” alternates strong and hard tunes with delicate textures and vice-versa. Some people may label them as hard rock, but it is a position hard to sustain because Wasteland Valley don’t have all hard rock features. I’d rather label them as early NWOBHM. I guess it fits better because they sound like a band which is getting out from heavy rock to get into Heavy Metal. Hard rock has more rock’n’roll and blues influences, which clearly Wasteland Valley don’t have.
In general, opening tracks are the greeting card of the band, but what Tor Erik Simensen does in it is pretty amazing. His gritty nasal voice gives a particular bright to “The Temple of the Gods,” one of the most delicious tune of the year. “Masquerade” has those ‘american’ yeah-yeah-yeah choruses. The ones which are so difficult not to sing along. Very unexpected and interesting guitar bridge to the solo. By the way, guitar work is also a highlight in “Pantheon” due to the competence of Thomas Kvaløsæter and Christian Følstad. Of course, they aren’t any guitar virtuosos, but the guys know the right notes to play. That’s a very desired ability. Yeah, they shread a little in “Golden Opportunity” the track which sounds vocalwise a lot as melodic hardcore.
If you get the meaning of delicious to an album, Wasteland Valley “Pantheon” is for you. “Pantheon” also offers subtle but catchy choruses which make you sing along without further notice. A great album with great song stories.
Wasteland Valley “Pantheon” will be released on November 24th via Wasteland Music.
- The Temple of the Gods
- Golden Opportunity
- The Chamber
- Reach for More
- Take a Stand
- No Place for a Queen
- Remains To Be Seen
- The End
Watch “Reach for More” official video here: