Dawn Of Reckoning

Everytime I see a dark fantasy inspired album cover, something inside me gets excited. It appeals to my inner-child watching Lord Of The Rings for the first time and becoming obsessed with all things dragons, swords and sorcery. So when I saw the album cover for VALFREYA’s Dawn Of Reckoning, I was instantly hooked. Even though the aesthetics blew me away and hooked me in (cheers to your graphic designer!), the music is what has made me a fan.


Formed in Montréal, Canada all the way back in 2009, VALFREYA is a cocktail of tasty melodic black metal, ferocious death metal, and garnished with folksy optimism. Fronted by the masterful Corinne Cardinal and backed up by virtuosic guitars and a solid-as-hell rhythm section, what make VALFREYA different from every other renfaire-core metal group is their interesting structures, haunting violin added by Maude Théberge, and absolutely stunning sonic landscapes that transport you back to your youth.


Dawn Of Reckoning is the third full-length album from VALFREYA and delivers on every front you could want. Before I get too deep into individual tracks, I really want to commend the band on not being so bombastically over-the-top. Sometimes groups with fantastical lyrical themes can venture into the ‘cheesy’ territory, but VALFREYA adds a sense of class to this particular subgenre.

The album is perfectly bookended by Dawn Of Reckoning and Reus es. The former lays out all of the qualities that will show their heads throughout the album in a masterfully-crafted thesis statement of thematic greatness. The latter ties up all of those aspects in a whirlwind of beauty and brutality that feels like a conclusion paragraph that would make every language teacher shed a tear in approval.

Now that you know the bread of the delitable VALFREYA sandwich, let’s get to the main ingredients! The first beefy track to line the album comes after the introduction in The Rise, a glorious mix of melodic guitar leads and that cinematic quality that will continue to be showcased throughout the rest of the tracks. Standout tracks such as The Fate, The Fall, and Equilibrium pack a punch that props up the album like a metal keystone. My personal favorite on the album is The Fallen Kings, which feels like you are being thrashed and thrown around a portal to hell, in the best possible way.


This album is for a certain type of person who likes their metal with a huge dosage of fun. As I stated earlier, the band has a way of crafting a fun album without sacrificing their musicality. Dawn Of Reckoning is out on May 24th. Give it a listen and storm Isengard!

Matthew McCune