Avengers Of Steel


The only reason I came to the conclusion that this female-fronted band is NOT playing […]
By Grigoris Chronis
December 1, 2004
Valkija - Avengers Of Steel album cover

The only reason I came to the conclusion that this female-fronted band is NOT playing Nightwish-like ethereal melodic Metal was the record label mentioned on the back cover. Sonic Age Records, as a defender of the classic 80s Heavy/Power Metal sound, would not put out something different was the vital thought that pushed this CD into my hands. Well, I didn't miscalculate but I wasn't that wonder-struck either...
Valkija was formed in 1999, spreading around the Italian Metal scene a classic-metal style influenced by elements of German Power Metal. The band collected really good feedback throughout Italy by playing in various Italian festivals like Una Pettinata Rock and Dominus Festival 2002 supporting Vision Divine and Thy Majesty. The band started the recording of the Days Of The Rising Sun demo during December 2002, proposing the typical sound of the 80s, but with the aim of not to be marked as retro-defenders, even if they're fans of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon etc along with the German likes of Heaven's Gate, Blind Guardian and Primal Fear. Themes dealed in the Days Of The Rising Sun demo are about nightmarish literature following the vein of H.P. Lovecraft or epical-warlike but never leaving behind a touch of a romantic-gothic stream more evident. Valkija signed with Greece's Metal label Sonic Age Records in 2004 and the recordings of the band's first official CD begun.
Avengers Of Steel, recorded and mixed in Athens, Greece during the summer of 2004, indeed presents a band with the typical 80s Metal sound. There are lots of good ideas, there are also plenty of rhythm alternations from one track to the other and the voice of Zoraija has similarities to legendary vocalists such as Leather (ex-Chastain, the ultimate female vocalist in my poor opinion), the mighty Doro Pesch or the adorable Jutta (ex-Zed Yago). Thus, this effort will attract the interest of any 80s Metal fans in the vein of Zed Yago, Warlock or several followers of the Primal Fear or Brainstorm approach. The overall weak points seem to be - in my ears, at least - the vocalist's pronounciation and tone partiality through each song plus the partial lack of tunefulness between the stringed instruments - maybe due to some experience deficiency.
Since this seems to be the band's debut (I'm not aware of any other official releases), I have the tough impression that time will tell positively for this promising quartet. 'Till then, and due to the average fan's oxymoron quotient new releases VS financial potentiality...

5 / 10


"Avengers Of Steel" Track-listing:

The Last One
Hold On
Eyes Of The Shadow
Return Of The King
Sign Of The Hammer
The Unknown Kadath
Son Of Thunder
Steel Avenger
Hatchet Blade

Valkija Lineup:

Zoraija - Vocals
Jhon Turturro - Guitars
Nikoll Hamm - Bass
Sebastian Hamm - Drums

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