VALFREYA come from Canada. That mighty land up north that has given us metalheads so many hours of great metal once again proves to deliver. Folk/Viking metal of the highest is the order of the day. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When you live in a country as young as Canada and with no real folklore of its own (The Inuit´s not included) what was it that made you go for the Norse mythology?
-We are from the province of Québec who also has it’s own folklore and history. Although it is a young province, there has been enough time for fantastic tales to be created. However it is true that nordic mythology is a much deeper subject with all it’s gods, worlds and creatures. The album “Path to Eternity” is inspired of the aspect of the 9 worlds and gods.

Where did the idea to form Valfreya come from?
-The frontwoman of the band, Crook, had written several songs that she wanted to perform with a full band. Having a preference for an aggressive, glorious and energetic kind of music, the viking metal style was perfect for what she had in mind.

How hard was it to come up with the band name and what does it represent to you?
-Before the project was born, Crook has made a lot of research regarding Nordic mythology and brainstorming what would be Valfreya. It isn’t so hard to find the name of a band when you know what you’re speaking about and where you’re heading to. You do have to make sure the name is absolutely unique, which happened to be the case at the time and we hope will remain so.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you write music? How do you go about creating the songs?
-As mentionned earlier the music is inspired from nordic mythology, the story displays very well the influences. The story is fruit of our imagination but some characters and locations are part of actual nordic legends.

What kind of rea_ctions do you get from the fans to your choice of theme?
-The fans are ravished with the fact that we push the theatrical act in order to bring them 100% into the ambiance and story.

When you live in the French speaking part of Canada does that make you feel more European related?
-I think Québec has more in common with Europe than with the rest of Canada or America. We’re like the invincible gaulish village surrounded by the romans. Personally I don’t know if I feel related to Europe but I also do not feel related with the rest of Canada or the USA.

What is your explanation to the explosion of folk metal bands we?ve seen in the last 5-10 years? What is folk metal to you?
-Metal music is constantly evolving and folk metal simply had not been fully exploited. The word folk stands for people. Folk metal represents the music of the people, from it’s roots. It may vary from one country to another while keeping this slight rustic feel incorporating ancient traditionnal instruments.

From what I’ve seen you seem to have a planned stage show. How important is it to put on a show as well on stage? Any other significance to the stage show?
-We want our spectators to have a time to remember. We want them to feel like they’re part of the story we are here to tell. To give a great show is just as important as playing great music.

What chances are there for you as a young band to play live in Canada and abroad?
-Playing in Canada is not a problem as we have dozens of shows booked. Playing outside of the country however is a bit harder. “Viking metal” music tends to be more popular in Europe. We have to go across the ocean in order to play there. It’s just about only a question of money. It has to be worth it for the promoters to book outside bands, it’s more risky for them. This work the same way to get European bands into the Canadian scene of course.

What plans do you have for Valfreya in the future?
-Lots of plans, music video, tours and more!

CIANIDE “Hell’s Rebirth”

“Hell’s Rebirth”
(Deepsend Records)
I don’t know what it is that they put in the water in Chicago but over time we’ve seen numerous great metal bands come from the windy city. Just go through your collection and you’ll see that you have more bands from that town than you thought at once. Cianide are not new in any sense of the word. This is actually a re-release. But hey, when it is good it is good no matter how old it is. Cianide I remember from reading fanzines back in the 80s and 90s. Somehow I managed to miss out on them completely. This is thrash metal the way it was done in the crack between thrash and death. This is raw and to the bone metal. This is the stuff that used to hit us on the head all the time before we were subjected to a whole array of sub-genres. This is metal from an easier time. This is metal that thrashes with the best. Anders Ekdahl


So your father is one of the biggest figures on the German metal scene having fronted one of the greatest heavy metal bands all categories and now fronts his own band. No pressure there to live up to. I guess it was just a matter of time before we saw Udo Dirkschneider’s son doing something on his own. I usually don’t like to compare people and I don’t think I’ll start now. This will be judged on its own merits. That I love Accept will not cloud my judgement. Damaged have a bluesy edge that might set them apart. This sounds like the kind of hardrock/metal you’ll find n the misty shades of a dodgy bar in some back alley on the wrong side of town. I like it. There is something to it, a groove that gets my heart pumping. This is something I could load my multi-CD player with and just let it rip. Anders Ekdahl


I never really cared for this whole death’n’roll thing that kept going a few years back. That to me sounded like a tired old wheel. I’m not saying that Greek Deathvalves are anything like that tired old rant but they sure got me thinking about how little I miss that one particular sub-genre. Instead they made me think of how much I miss Danzig’s first couple of albums. There is that same kind of groove to this record that Danzig got going (all other comparisons withheld). I didn’t think I’d fancy this album as much as I ended up doing. There is something to this that touches the right buttons in me. It made me think of all the right and great things that I like about hardrock and that I kinda miss. A really feel good record. Anders Ekdahl

DERIDE “The Void”

“The Void”
I have no clue why some people think that flexing your muscles should impress anybody. That said there are moments when flexed muscles work. Deride knocked me from the start. They set out on a high note. No fussing about, just plain punches to the head. This is the kind of metal that I have no idea what to do with. I cannot relate to it completely. Call it modern metal or call it metalcore, I have no clue whatsoever what it is that they are trying to say. That aside, there are no reason why I can’t enjoy even if I can’t understand it. This is metal that is full of testosterone and anger. High on raw emotion Deride try to knock you senseless with short sharp burst of fist punching. It’s like being in the ring with somebody totally out of your weight class. I like it. Anders Ekdahl


“Death Hammer”
In small doses I can take grindcore. I’m not sure if it makes me weak but I kinda enjoyed the A-side of Napalm Death’s “Scum” more than the B-side. Flayed Disciple hammers away like there’s no tomorrow. I like that kind of ferocity. It takes no prisoners and leaves only victims in its wake. I like the mix of hardcore and metal that makes up grindcore. It’s like the best of two worlds taken for a spin in a tornado. Stay out if you can’t take the pressure. There is something very British to this mix. You take the pent up frustration of being on the dole for ten years and mix it with the bourgeois government at helm and you get a massive outburst in the form of music that can peel of the paint on walls. Could it be any better? Flayed Disciple can strip the paint of my walls anytime they like. Anders Ekdahl

HEART OF THE COWARD “Hope and Hindrance”

“Hope And Hindrance”
I usually take heed when somebody is described as the next big thing. That usually means shit in the real world. I gotta admit that I’m a bit prejudiced when it comes to new British bands. I’ve bought in on the hype thing created by the UK media thinking that every new band is just a new trend jumper. Instead of seeing them as new and promising acts I think of them as traitors to the cause. Gotta stop doing that. Heart Of A Coward promised to be something totally different from the promo shot and art work but they actually turned out to be heavy on the death metal side of metalcore. This is like Pantera gone death metal if you get my drift. I found myself liking this more than I thought I would. A really cool metal album. Anders Ekdahl


“Newtek Lie”
(To react Records)
Are you ready to launch? Ignition Code sure are. I get a very techno (no not the music) feel to this band’s whole outlook. Like a modern version of Fear Factory. The music does nothing to prove me wrong. This not only made me think Fear Factory image-wise bit also music-wise. There is that attack that Fear Factory had on their first couple albums. Mix that with a very aggressive death metal approach and you get a very in the face album. There is something to this album that make it hard to resist – “resistance is futile”. You better surrender to the metal attack that is “Newtek Lie”. Anders Ekdahl

THE INIQUITY DESCENT “The Human Apheresis”

“The Human Apheresis”
I am no stranger to the strange and avant-gardistic in music. One of my fave albums all time is Celtic Frost’s “Into The Pandemonium”. The Finnish band The Iniquity Descent could very well be described as avant-garde black metal but to me that are more bands like Deathspell Omega and their ilk. This might be monotonous but that doesn’t make it avant-garde. That just makes it repetitive. I know that it is hard to come up with a selling description for the labels. Just leave it at The Iniquity Descent have a slight (very early) Impaled Nazarene feel to their attack. Just a bit darker and more sinister sounding. I like this monotony that the band creates with their music. There is a trance like aura to it. This was much more cooler than I thought at first. Anders Ekdahl

NEXHYMN “Black Horizon”

“Black Horizon”
When you think Colorado you might think skiing resorts and Aspen. Maybe even Sundance or hockey (Avalanches) but maybe not so much brutal and to the point death metal. Well, do so now. Nexhymn are about to change that. This is death metal in its most brutal form. No fancy guitar licks or melodies. Just plain in your face aggression. If you are looking for the newest In Flames/Dark Tranquillity clone or the latest lame metalcore act look elsewhere. If you fancy your metal Suffocation heavy or think that Immolation/Incantation are the greatest gifts to metalville then you’ve come to the right place. This is simply put so heavy and aggressive that you need protection clothing listening to it. Is it any good then? You kid me right? This is da shit. This is so heavy that you need help lifting the CD. This is so brutal that you need a vacation having listened to it. Anders Ekdahl