Metal_Reese (Instagram)

“What happens when you couple the progressive thrash stylings of ‘Justice-era Metallica with folk instrumentation and black-flavored atmosphere? You get Josh Dalviken’s #TheSwordThatSlaystheDarkness.
This one-man act specializes in taking the tight instrumentation and technical prowess of 80s thrash and running it through a folk metal filter. The results are much more righteous than you might think.
After a brief, folky we’re introduced to the album’s first full length song, “Death to Degeneracy”. It’s a powerful thrash tune full of hooks, great riffs and technical intricacies. It’s a good indicator of what the rest of the album holds in store.
One of the album’s greatest strengths is how well incorporated the folk elements are. On “White Dawn” gentle folk instrumentation gives way to blackened tremolo picking, and “Awaken the Dreamer” is essentially a medieval-style ballad gone metal.
The album’s ultimate track is the eighteen minute closer, “A Shadow Left By Time”. An epic that stretches across various moods and tempos, it has no shortage of moving parts and feels much shorter than it truly is.
That said, if I have one criticism for The Sword That Slays the Darkness, it’s that it’s too long. At a whopping 78 minutes, it’s a tough front-to-back listen, and I feel the album would benefit from being just a touch leaner.
Overall though, The Sword That Slays the Darkness is a very impressive, well-realized album. It’s almost hard to believe it’s all the work of one man. And if this high watermark is only his debut album, then it’s almost certain there are amazing things to come. “

Loud ‘n Heavy

Original review:

He calls himself “The White Wolf”. Josh Dalviken, originating from Northern England, is famous for his furious riffs, roaring vocals and unforgettable melodies.

At the beginning of 2018, Josh released his album “The Sword That Slays The Darkness”. If you follow him on Instagram, you have probably noticed his album previews. This made me excited to listen to the album when it came out.

The first song on “The Sword That Slays The Darkness” is “Champion of the Great Tree”. If you wouldn’t know that you’re listening to a metal album, you’d almost think that you’ve ended up in a forest filled with elves. However – with the next song – Death to Degeneracy is where you’ll hear the metal.

My favorite song of the album is definitely “White Dawn”. This song contains the same folk elements as the intro song. The tremolo picking causes to give “White Dawn” a black metal feel; which makes me happy as a black metal lover.

The last song of the album is the 18 minute enchanter “A Shadow Left by Time”. This song takes you on a journey. Because of the different tempos and melodies, it’s almost as if you’re listening to a small story. It’s a song that summarizes the whole album.

It’s almost unimaginable to think that this is a one man project. It’s really great! I’d recommend it to anyone who likes melodic heavy metal with black metal influences.

P.s listen to this album when you’re working out. You’ll get some great motivation out of it! 🤘🏻

Score: 9/10