Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Splinters" by Vallenfyre

Vallenfyre is a side project.

Paradise Lost's primary songwriter, Greg Mackintosh, started the group a few years back. Today we we have their second full length album.

The group was the "natural" reaction to Mackintosh losing his father. He put his feelings into verse and into chords.

Mackintosh is joined by Hamish Glencross of My Dying Bride on rhythm and lead guitar, Scoot of Doom on bass guitar, and Adrian Erlandsson also of Paradise Lost and more on the drums.

Vallenfyre has looked to the past for inspiration: Napalm Death, Bathory, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and more, but more is added to the pot to make the band something different than any of those bands.

Black and white = +10 Metal.
This album feels very different than most extreme metal records.

Too often, there is a heavy metal arms race about how heavy can the music be. Vallenfyre doesn't feel like one of those 8 string guitar bands playing downtuned to negative C#.

They feel like an organic metal band with gritty guitars full of hooks and melody.

The vocals are thick, throaty, painful, and articulate...well articulate for death metal. The listener will be able to decipher what's being said.

The drums are where the greatest death metal sacrilege takes place. The entire album is not pounded out with blast beats at the speed of sound. That isn't to say there are no blast beats, but there are songs where only a single foot is used on the bass drum.

The drums are always on top of the beat, on top of the riff and lead the way.

The fellows do not feel the need to flex their muscles at all times by playing 100 miles per hour. There are slow songs, sludgy, and they feel like the songs Electric Wizard has been trying and failing to write for years.

I have heard few peers in the tonal quality of production in the realm of metal. The mixing on this disc keeps all the tones and all the instruments in the forefront of the listener's consciousness. The bass player is playing music, and we get to hear it.

This album is rooted in old school death metal, but in no way is it limited to that. A chord progression or beat will come and Obituary, but the song doesn't sound like Obituary.  There is an immense mix of styles on this record that will keep any and all metalheads engaged for the whole disc.

Release: 5/13/14
Genre: Metal, Death Metal
Label: Century media
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Track list:
1. Scabs
2. Bereft
3. Instinct Slaughter
4. Odious Bliss
5. Savages Arise
6. Aghast
7. The Wolves of Sin
8. Cattle
9. Dragged to Gehenna
10. Thirst For Extinction
11. Splinters

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