Valdrin – Two Carrion Talismans

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/Label URL: Blood Harvest
Released: 28 September 2018
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Band Line-up:

Carter Hicks – vocals,guitar, synth guitar
Colten Deem – guitar
James Lewis – bass
Ryan Maurmeier – drums


1. Junnatox
2. Nex – The Barren Sculptor
3. Sinews of Blood and Vein
4. Funeral Tides of Orcus
5. Tempest Torn Asunder
6. Vesper in the Animus Lair
7. Crimson Blades in the Ausadjur Wake
8. Awaiting in the Spirit Genome…


Valdrin, hailing from Ohio, formed in 2010. Their intention is to play a unique form of black/death metal centred on the lyrical concept called “Ausadjur Mythos”, combining many aspects of ancient mythologies and occult practices. This continues the story from their first album, “Beyond the Forest”, telling the story of the Ausadjur Mythos from the viewpoint of the protagonist Valdrin Ausadjur.

The album opens with an intro of battle drums approaching from the distance, then a sword unsheathed. From the opening blasts of “Junnatox”, you can see Valdrin have their own style of musical story-telling, mixing up death, symphonic with hints of blackened metal. Highlighting Valdrin’s compositional strength are opening songs “Junnatox” and “Nex – The Barren Sculptor”.

Two Carrion Talismans grabs you by the throat, and looks you straight in the eyes whilst doing it. “Nex – The Barron Sculptor”, “Sinews of Blood and Vein” and “Funeral Tides of Orcus lift the album up a level, drawing from influences such as Immortal and Emperor.

It’s hard not to be influenced by such great black metal and wearing their influences on their sleeves, this album is nothing short of excellent. In a saturated genre, Valdrin has composed and brought to life everything that makes black metal strong and powerful. It was conjured over a four-year period, and while the debut was a strong work of melodic black metal, this album has taken their songwriting up a level.

The album’s production created an excellent atmosphere and listening experience. The vocals are your classic black metal tortured rasp. The songs are well written and flow from epic and melodic metal to a more progressive style. Using the keyboards give layers of atmosphere without being overbearing. You have classic sounding melodic black metal songs like the opener, “Junnatox”, then you have “Funeral Tides of Orcus”, which has some interesting time changes, then the psych elements in the solos showing they have wider tastes than just straight up metal.

A powerful and accomplished release.

Reviewed by

David William Hatton