Ren Marabou - Valhalla Waits
Misanthropik Records
Viking Metal
2 songs ()
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Alex

I have no idea how this piece of music fell into my lap, but I figured it wouldn’t kill me to sample this 2-track teaser release where it says Viking Metal. It took me a while to figure out that Ren Marabou is a pseudonym for one Irish Aaron Gaffey, and this pair of tracks is a preview of the guy’s 5th album already. Composing and releasing alone, Ren Marabou/Aaron Gaffey performs live as a 4-piece band.

Valhalla Waits is built on somewhat mechanical riffs with chord foundation. There is some symphonic aura in behind, hinting at careful synth use to create atmosphere. The slightly poppy sounding chorus does provide the necessary hook. Axe in My Back then has more of an industrial tinge, with keys following again in behind playing some sort of mid-Eastern melody. Where I wouldn’t quite give Ren Marabou a passing grade is his vocals. Neither a manly growl, nor a high clean epic voice, the vocals are stuck in between and resort to shouts, and when they become even more insistent they remind me of less crazy Nine Inch Nails for some reason, especially on Axe in My Back.

The promo suggested comparing this to Amon Amarth and Tyr, and so I did. If you are a fan of Vikings or The Last Kingdom, and then follow Amazon’s Video recommendations for similar stuff it will guide you towards a lot of B-quality independent movies. When pandemic hit, I would sometimes watch them for a couple of hours in the evening to take my mind off serious stuff at work. Sometimes they were passable, other times awful. If Amon Amarth and Tyr are Vikings or The Last Kingdom, respectively, and have the budget and pedigree to deliver excellent shows, Ren Marabou is one of those B-movies. Thankfully it falls into a passable category.

Killing Songs :
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