Validor – In Blood In Battle 2020
Running Time: 48:32
Review by Victor Augusto
There is a question I often ask myself and it is ‘what makes an album strong or remarkable?’ Of course, there are many possible explanations and I wouldn’t dare try to explain something, so complicated, that I don’t know the answer to, but I have some opinions/points of view as a fan of Metal. When I picked Validor’s “In Blood In Battle album to review, I had no idea who they were or where they were from, I just knew that they played Epic Power/Classic Heavy Metal. It is always complicated to analyse this style after hearing so many incredible bands from the eighties who were the first to play this genre and then all the others that have appeared since, making this music massive. I was afraid that I was going to have mixed feelings, happy to hear the genre that was the first one I loved but also worried that I would hear ‘more of the same’.
Validor are a Greek band and while they prepare their fourth album, they decided to also give the correct value to their debut, which had a small budget, and re-record the ‘spine’ of it (guitars, bass and drums), whilst leaving the original vocals and guitar solos to preserve the band’s spirit from 2011, when the original record was released. As I said before, I’ve never heard Validor’s music, so my initial impressions are based on a partly re-recorded debut album. It is absolutely full of passion and anger which is even better than just playing well or creating incredible solos, at least for me! I am tired of releases, full of musicians, just trying to be faster than the speed of light or the most technical in the world. Validor provide emotion.
The first song ‘The Riddle Of Steel’ has a kind of Celtic acoustic intro with a beautiful clean voice that reminded me of my favourite singer of all time, Mr. Eric Adams from Manowar, who used to sing beautifully in this way. As the music gets fast and heavier, it is possible to hear all of Validor’s influences emerging. Classic metal like Manowar and Judas Priest are combined with heavier bands such as Iced Earth and Blind Guardian. Maybe , as this is Validor’s first album, these influences are more apparent, as they hadn’t yet found their own identity, but it is impressive how they work so well together.
One thing that makes me love a band or song is when they put emotion and interpretation into their music, no matter the concept or subject. Riffs that make you bang your head or pick an invisible guitar unconsciously are a good sign of this and the songs ‘Stealer Of Souls’ and ‘The Dark Tower’ are perfect examples. It is amazing how incredibly beautiful the guitars, bass and solo variations are. They really put everything into these tracks, and it is a masterclass of how to play good power metal full of feeling and energy.
A few songs, like ‘Through The Storm’, bring a more melodic influence to the fore, similar to Helloween, but if you want to hear real heaviness then a song like ‘Wrath Of Steel’ is a good example, once again, there is an Iced Earth influence, which gives value to the riffs and aggressiveness. Another highlight is the last, and title, track ‘In Blood In Battle’ where the band combine all these elements together, it is a complete song.
This, partially re-recorded, reissue is a good way to understand the seeds of Validor’s music. You can hear the pure and genuine influences! It is maybe a little bit raw, but it is enough to understand their capability. After hearing the album, I imagine how they are playing now they have become a more experienced band. I intend to find out and I recommend you do so too!
01. The Riddle Of Steel
02. Sword Of Vengeance
03. The Last Emperor
04. Stealer Of Souls
05. Through The Storm
06. The Dark Tower
08. Wrath Of Steel
09. In Blood In Battle
Odi Thunderer – Vocals, Guitar
Bob Katsionis – Lead Guitar, Bass and Keyboards
Apollo Giannoulis – Drums and Classical Percussion
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