Valuatir is a real gem of the underground pagan folk black metal.They come from France and they were formed in 1997 under the name InisGwenva. After 2 demos they changed their name in 2007 to Valuatir andthey recorded their first self-titled full-length album that wasreleased in 2008 by the Japanese label Armageddon Records.
They play pagan black metal mixed with many folk Celtic instrumentsand melodies. Their founder Fëarann masters a great variety oftraditional instruments, like whistles and countless types of bagpipesthat have a very dominating role in their songs, since all the melodiclines are based on them. Valuatir composed some of the best folk tunesI’ve ever heard in this kind of music and their combination with paganblack metal is simply amazing! They use typical (but very powerful andexpressive) black vocals (no mix with clean ones here) all sang in theFrench language. Lyrics deal with themes from ancient proto-historictimes (it is also written in their site that Fëarann doesarchaeological excavations!).
Most of the time the black metal riffing is at fast tempo, and itgets a bit slower when the folk instruments get in and play the leadmelodies. All of the 5 songs are long (there are also two intros) arelong and the album lasts for over 43 minutes. They have a very epicatmosphere and their folk tunes don’t sound “happy” or “easy”, but havea real substance. What is most amazing with this album is that Valuatircreated the perfect balance between rawness and melody. They cancompose excellent pagan black metal and and at the same time brilliantCeltic folk music, but especially they can mix them together ideally!
I personally adore this album, as well as many other albums from theFrench folk black metal scene. If you also like bands like Aes Dana,Heol Telwen, Bran Barr, Diamond Eyed Princess, or even Nydvind, youshould get this album without second thoughts. If you are not familiarwith this genre you can check their songs in their myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/valuatir.