Album Review: Hvalross - Cold Dark Rain (2020)
|Picture Credit: Hvalross|
Roosendaal is located in the Southwest of the Netherlands, somewhere between Rotterdam and Belgian town Antwerp. The 80,000 inhabitants town is home to Gerben, Barry, Maarten, and Tristan who have played Heavy Metal, Punk Rock, Prog and other rock-related genres in a huge number of formations and bands. In early 2018 the quartet decided to group up once more. This was the birth of the band Hvalross. The name actually is Norwegian for walrus.
In autumn 2020, Hvalross released their first longplayer "Cold Dark Rain". The album is a strong representation of the different styles and genres the four members have adapted over the last decades. Hence, a clear definition of the music on "Cold Dark Rain" is complicated by using basic categories. That alone is a reason to enjoy this album!
The most dominant music elements are Heavy Metal and Stoner Rock though. But close listening reveals features of Hard Rock, Prog Rock and certain other rock- and metal-related subgenres. In their presskit, Hvalross name this a heavy cocktail - a term, I can absolutely agree on.
Hvalross combine the steady movement of Priest-like Heavy Metal with the ponderous force of Dozer-like Stoner Rock. Clean metallic leads merge into bass-laden grooves, and high-tone vocals interchange with mesmerizing choirs and whispers. And after all, the sound is coherent and progressive. The heavy cocktail mixed by Hvalross is strong and will immediately make you dizzy. But instead of sedating you, the sound on "Cold Dark Rain" is highly motivating. Or, to use the band's own words "Hvallross rocks!".