VALHALLA AWAITS – Perdition (2024)

VALHALLA AWAITS - Perdition (2024) - full

Although VALHALLA AWAITS members come from already established hard rock bands (Buffalo Summer, The Blackout, Revoker) the Welsh-based quintet is building themselves from the ground up.
First of all, Valhalla Awaits is not a Viking-themed Death, Black or Power / Folk metal band. This is Groove metal, modern, with a big punch and melody.
Perdition (noun); the state of eternal punishment and damnation – this is the title of the band’s new work. Well, after listening to it, “Perdition” is certainly not a state you feel. Rather than it being an eternal punishment, listening to the heavyweight riffs and melodies throughout you are left with a sense of excitement.
‘The Door of No Return’ kicks things off with monster riffs and gobs of melody. It is very evident these men are veterans. There is a distinct maturity to their playing. The rhythm-section is absolutely crushing and very much in sync. Lyrics are very interesting too.

‘Staring at the Gun’ is a mid-tempo song that showcases Andrew Hunt’s tremendous vocal talents. He elicits and pulls emotion out of the air with his plaintive and melodic vocals. The song also highlights strong guitar solos and crunchy pounding riffs. There’s some Alter Bridge influence here.
‘Is There Anybody Out There’ is the track that would turn Valhalla Awaits more known. This is Hunt’s tour de force. Through his commanding, melodious and potent performance he sublimely conveys emotional fragility as his voice reaches the highest plateaus and lifts you from the darkest of places. The rest of the band all bring their brilliance too, especially guitarist Chris Green, with his searing solo as the crescendo is reached and then fades out.

‘We Remain’ arrives with a heavier, crunching riff and rise in pace, and continues showing off the band’s ample skills. We find the guys picking up speed again and the guitarists in particular shine on this one. The guitar solo that rips through the final third gives it a mighty good go.
The number titled ‘All Hope Is Lost’proves to be a little ironic given that it shows all hope certainly isn’t lost where the band is concerned. There’s a bite to the track and the band really hit top gear.

There’s a menacing swagger to ‘Skin & Bone’, a track swathed in distortion and punctuated with squeals of angry guitar. Relentless riff meets lyrics that seethe with barely concealed rage. And yet, there’s something undeniably melodic in the chorus that’s much catchier than it first appears. A tortured solo drops away and allows a moment of respite before the crescendo hits with even greater impact.
Opening with an aggressive stop start riff, ‘Rolling Thunder’ accelerates at pace, temporarily slowing for a chorus that’s easily one of the most accessible. It’s another monster of a track, a showcase of the commanding guitar work that dominates proceedings in the best possible way.

Frenetic energy seems to power ‘Where Do We Go?’. Threatening to derail but held together by rapid fire drumming, it’s intense and anguished, with vocals dripping in attitude. There’s a great moment when the tempo slows and the drums really breathe, difficult to describe but impossible to miss.
The shadow of Alice In Chains looms over the doubled up vocals and despairing lyrics of ‘Inside The Sun’. But the unexpectedly cathartic chorus cuts through the bruising metal riffing in a punchy fashion. And just when you think it’s over, the band kick back in at breakneck speed, a final blast of adrenaline.

For someone who is a fan of gritty modern heavy rock, strong vocals and musical talent this is exactly what was delivered here by Valhalla Awaits. A name we will hear more from in the future for sure.
Highly Recommended


01 – Door of No Return
02 – Staring At The Gun
03 – Is There Anybody Out There?
04 – We Remain
05 – All Hope Is Lost
06 – Skin & Bone
07 – Rolling Thunder
08 – Where Do We Go?
09 – Inside The Sun
10 – Is There Anybody Out There? (Piano Version feat. Clare Bell)

Lead Vocals – Andrew Hunt
Guitar, Vocals – Chris Green
Guitar – Rhys Carter
Bass – Sam Kilby – Bass
Drums, Vocals – Gareth Lawrence



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