V▲LH▲LL is one of the best witch house projects still in existence thanks to their sheer force of will, excellent production techniques, and consistent musical evolution. They have gathered a bit of a cult following since their debut and have since continued to impress with release after release. "Grimoire", their newest album under Artoffact Records, is guaranteed to charm you and bestow its teachings without you even noticing. We got an interview with V▲LH▲LL: discussing the new album and so much more. Be sure to click that play button while you read all about the mystical duo: 



Hello again V▲LH▲LL! This is the third time we've spoken together, the last being an interview we conducted in November of 2014. Obviously a lot has happened since then with EPs and singles being released, your name spreading a bit more, and so on and so forth. How are things at your neck of the woods currently? 

V▲LH▲LL:  Hi Brutal Resonance! Wet, dark and cold – just as we like it.

“Grimoire” is your new album that's just recently been released. VALHALL has always had a focus on the mystic, folklore, fantasy, myth and magic and everything in between. Aside from an aesthetic standpoint, do you actually believe in and practice magic, Paganism, Occultism, or any such subject? 

V▲LH▲LL:  To answer such a question would mean we would have to reveal all the secrets hidden behind our work and that in turn would mean we would have to keep you silent you in a most peculiar and mystical way, so to save us both the trouble (and because we do so enjoy being interviewed by you) lets just say… we dabble in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

A decent definition of a Grimoire came with the release of the album, it being a large text of varying subjects from angels and demons to spells and rituals. What inspired you to create this album? Was there any specific myth, historical event, or work of fiction that really got your creative side ticking? 

V▲LH▲LL:  This album has taken a lot longer than we planned, the past couple of years have been painful and dark that in turn has made the album reform several times. Songs that were finished suddenly felt flat and alien. During this time, the music was our sanctum and in some ways helped us through it all. We ended up merging songs and found inspiration in rummaging for hours and hours through old books of gods and creatures. When we finally emerged to the surface we realised we had created our own Grimoire, a book of spells that led us to sanctuary. 

V▲LH▲LL has always been associated with the witchhouse scene. However, as you continue in your journey your music seems to blend more than one genre from darkwave to neofolk and so much more. Has this always been your intention or did the maturity in your craft appear without much thought? 

V▲LH▲LL:  What we love about witchhouse is the freedom to wander back and forth through genres. We argue a lot with each other to keep ourselves on our toes and make sure we do not get comfortable. Our intention is to always keep on travelling. 


You also have Jessica Pimentel of Orange is the New Black and Alekhine's Gun fame contributing violins to the album. How did you guys initially get in touch with one another and what was it like working with Pimentel? 

V▲LH▲LL:  We’ve been in touch on and off since Jessica posted a video and wrote about us on Instagram a few years ago. While we were working on the new album she posted another video where she played the violin like a goddess, and since we wanted that on “Ormens Offer” we reached out and asked if she’d be up for stopping by our studio for a session. Luckily for us, she was! Jessica is one of the most humble, warm-hearted and inspirational people we’ve ever met. It was fantastic working with her and the lyrics to the song was actually written while she was warming up with the violin and recording – we already had other lyrics for the song but as the sound of the violin echoed in the studio the words just came down on a scrap of paper.  

And let's talk about the cover art for the album. Who created it? And why did you have who I'm assuming to be Medusa decorate the front of the album? 

V▲LH▲LL:  We create all artwork related to V▲LH▲LL ourselves. The story of Medusa has been told differently but the version that caught our interest was the one of Medusa as actually being a beautiful maiden who was raped by Poseidon in Athenas temple. Athena in rage of what had happened in the temple punished Medusa (and not Poseidon) by turning her into a hideous monster that with her gaze could turn creatures into stone. The story continues with medusa finally being beheaded by a man and the head being used as a weapon…

V▲LH▲LL is Martin and Mary. We have found through the years, not only in V▲LH▲LL but in previous bands where we have played together that Martin is the one most people turn to. Continuously Mary has had to fight for a place in the industry – being called background singer, “the other one in the band”, “the girl”, groupie – and on site often completely ignored by sound technicians and other bands. It has been an important discussion for us, one part making Martin aware of the actual difference in how we are being treated but also when realised a struggle for us both to fight against it without being labelled as “difficult”. The #metoo campaign was a great relief and long time coming to be honest. Medusa is a statement. 

“Grimoire” is your third full length album with “Ravens and Ghosts” as well as “Leaning on Shadows” releasing prior to it. Tell me, do you think “Grimoire” is your finest work to date or do you prefer your older work more? 

V▲LH▲LL:  When travelling somehow the present place seems to be the best, most exotic and wonderful at the moment. However, of course we look back on our previous journeys and love them too. 

And what is your favorite track on the album so far? And why is it that one? 

V▲LH▲LL:  The album is pretty versatile and our favorite tracks seems to change day by day. Since the release last week we’ve had a lot of people reaching out and sending us love and feedback on the album. One of the most interesting, and possibly best, things is that so far we can’t make out a pattern. We’ve had all tracks about equally mentioned as favorite tracks by different people.


What else does VALHALL have planned for the future? Are there any EPs, singles, or remixes in the works? Do you have plans to play live in support of “Grimoire”? 

V▲LH▲LL:  We have a lot of ideas on where to go next. We’re already discussing the outlines for the next LP, but there will be both EPs, remixes and hopefully a lot of live shows before that. We already have a few shows booked and announcements should be coming up any day now. 

Lastly I'd like to say thank you for your contributions to the scene. I can't wait to have the time to listen to “Grimoire” in its entirety once more. I wish you the best of luck with the new album and leave the space below yours to say whatever you wish! 

V▲LH▲LL:  Thank you! All we have to say is that we hope everyone who reads this will head over to bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music or whatever you prefer and give “Grimoire” a listen, and hopefully dig it. It’s available through Bandcamp as digital download, limited CD digipak with alternative artwork, and ultra-limited green/white vinyl. If you do like it, the best way to support and help us is to talk about it and let your friends know about us. Hope we’ll see you at a V▲LH▲LL concert soon!     
V▲LH▲LL interview
February 18, 2018
Brutal Resonance

V▲LH▲LL

Feb 2018
V▲LH▲LL is one of the best witch house projects still in existence thanks to their sheer force of will, excellent production techniques, and consistent musical evolution. They have gathered a bit of a cult following since their debut and have since continued to impress with release after release. "Grimoire", their newest album under Artoffact Records, is guaranteed to charm you and bestow its teachings without you even noticing. We got an interview with V▲LH▲LL: discussing the new album and so much more. Be sure to click that play button while you read all about the mystical duo: 



Hello again V▲LH▲LL! This is the third time we've spoken together, the last being an interview we conducted in November of 2014. Obviously a lot has happened since then with EPs and singles being released, your name spreading a bit more, and so on and so forth. How are things at your neck of the woods currently? 

V▲LH▲LL:  Hi Brutal Resonance! Wet, dark and cold – just as we like it.

“Grimoire” is your new album that's just recently been released. VALHALL has always had a focus on the mystic, folklore, fantasy, myth and magic and everything in between. Aside from an aesthetic standpoint, do you actually believe in and practice magic, Paganism, Occultism, or any such subject? 

V▲LH▲LL:  To answer such a question would mean we would have to reveal all the secrets hidden behind our work and that in turn would mean we would have to keep you silent you in a most peculiar and mystical way, so to save us both the trouble (and because we do so enjoy being interviewed by you) lets just say… we dabble in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

A decent definition of a Grimoire came with the release of the album, it being a large text of varying subjects from angels and demons to spells and rituals. What inspired you to create this album? Was there any specific myth, historical event, or work of fiction that really got your creative side ticking? 

V▲LH▲LL:  This album has taken a lot longer than we planned, the past couple of years have been painful and dark that in turn has made the album reform several times. Songs that were finished suddenly felt flat and alien. During this time, the music was our sanctum and in some ways helped us through it all. We ended up merging songs and found inspiration in rummaging for hours and hours through old books of gods and creatures. When we finally emerged to the surface we realised we had created our own Grimoire, a book of spells that led us to sanctuary. 

V▲LH▲LL has always been associated with the witchhouse scene. However, as you continue in your journey your music seems to blend more than one genre from darkwave to neofolk and so much more. Has this always been your intention or did the maturity in your craft appear without much thought? 

V▲LH▲LL:  What we love about witchhouse is the freedom to wander back and forth through genres. We argue a lot with each other to keep ourselves on our toes and make sure we do not get comfortable. Our intention is to always keep on travelling. 


You also have Jessica Pimentel of Orange is the New Black and Alekhine's Gun fame contributing violins to the album. How did you guys initially get in touch with one another and what was it like working with Pimentel? 

V▲LH▲LL:  We’ve been in touch on and off since Jessica posted a video and wrote about us on Instagram a few years ago. While we were working on the new album she posted another video where she played the violin like a goddess, and since we wanted that on “Ormens Offer” we reached out and asked if she’d be up for stopping by our studio for a session. Luckily for us, she was! Jessica is one of the most humble, warm-hearted and inspirational people we’ve ever met. It was fantastic working with her and the lyrics to the song was actually written while she was warming up with the violin and recording – we already had other lyrics for the song but as the sound of the violin echoed in the studio the words just came down on a scrap of paper.  

And let's talk about the cover art for the album. Who created it? And why did you have who I'm assuming to be Medusa decorate the front of the album? 

V▲LH▲LL:  We create all artwork related to V▲LH▲LL ourselves. The story of Medusa has been told differently but the version that caught our interest was the one of Medusa as actually being a beautiful maiden who was raped by Poseidon in Athenas temple. Athena in rage of what had happened in the temple punished Medusa (and not Poseidon) by turning her into a hideous monster that with her gaze could turn creatures into stone. The story continues with medusa finally being beheaded by a man and the head being used as a weapon…

V▲LH▲LL is Martin and Mary. We have found through the years, not only in V▲LH▲LL but in previous bands where we have played together that Martin is the one most people turn to. Continuously Mary has had to fight for a place in the industry – being called background singer, “the other one in the band”, “the girl”, groupie – and on site often completely ignored by sound technicians and other bands. It has been an important discussion for us, one part making Martin aware of the actual difference in how we are being treated but also when realised a struggle for us both to fight against it without being labelled as “difficult”. The #metoo campaign was a great relief and long time coming to be honest. Medusa is a statement. 

“Grimoire” is your third full length album with “Ravens and Ghosts” as well as “Leaning on Shadows” releasing prior to it. Tell me, do you think “Grimoire” is your finest work to date or do you prefer your older work more? 

V▲LH▲LL:  When travelling somehow the present place seems to be the best, most exotic and wonderful at the moment. However, of course we look back on our previous journeys and love them too. 

And what is your favorite track on the album so far? And why is it that one? 

V▲LH▲LL:  The album is pretty versatile and our favorite tracks seems to change day by day. Since the release last week we’ve had a lot of people reaching out and sending us love and feedback on the album. One of the most interesting, and possibly best, things is that so far we can’t make out a pattern. We’ve had all tracks about equally mentioned as favorite tracks by different people.


What else does VALHALL have planned for the future? Are there any EPs, singles, or remixes in the works? Do you have plans to play live in support of “Grimoire”? 

V▲LH▲LL:  We have a lot of ideas on where to go next. We’re already discussing the outlines for the next LP, but there will be both EPs, remixes and hopefully a lot of live shows before that. We already have a few shows booked and announcements should be coming up any day now. 

Lastly I'd like to say thank you for your contributions to the scene. I can't wait to have the time to listen to “Grimoire” in its entirety once more. I wish you the best of luck with the new album and leave the space below yours to say whatever you wish! 

V▲LH▲LL:  Thank you! All we have to say is that we hope everyone who reads this will head over to bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music or whatever you prefer and give “Grimoire” a listen, and hopefully dig it. It’s available through Bandcamp as digital download, limited CD digipak with alternative artwork, and ultra-limited green/white vinyl. If you do like it, the best way to support and help us is to talk about it and let your friends know about us. Hope we’ll see you at a V▲LH▲LL concert soon!     
Feb 18 2018

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

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