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Radium Valley - Tales From The Apocalypse

Radium Valley
Tales From The Apocalypse
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 October 2014, 6:36 PM

RADIUM VALLEY is a French based band in the Metal/Electro/Goth/Darkwave genre, formed in 2012.  From their Facebook page, they describe their approach as “the general concept is a background in the 80’s, with what have constituted the current event and the culture of this period: Chernobyl, the new wave, punk, the beginning of the video game era, as if the world had stopped in 1986 after the Chernobyl disaster, and as if there were only some survivors along with some mentally damaged artists from the radiation.

This debut album contains eleven tracks.  “Song of Rain” opens the album, with a fuzzy voice over an old scratchy LP.  The mood is somber as we often hear in Goth Metal.  The electronica is present and noticeable but overdone.  The piano additions and background chants/moans make it sound like you are on the steps of an old church, alone at night in the rain.  “Sweet Infection” is a heavier groove, but still with that feeling of despondence, while “For all of us” is like a love hymn conceived in blasphemy.  Xylophone notes dance around the deep, punchy guitar chords.  “Darkest Hours” has a swifter pace, but with no less doomy punch.  They really drive home some emotional peaks during the chorus, where the vocals are earnest.  Though “Behind Me” starts off like a nightclub opener but quickly segues into an eerie but pleasant melody, using more major chords than minor at times.  This imparts a feeling of hope, which is in stark contrast with some of the other songs on the album.  The instrumental “Radium Valley” begins with a warning siren, and a feeling of suspense and impending doom.  When the main riff kicks in, it is just dominating and powerful, while remaining accessible at the same time.  When I listen to this song, I picture being trapped in the upper floor of a Haunted House with evil all around me that I cannot see.  “Into the Underground” has a sweet swing to it, reminding me of the Finnish band H.I.M.  It has a delicate melody and a more traditional song structure, and sounds like it would be a nice single for the band.  By contrast, “Last Resort” is more pronounced and aggressive.

Closing the album is the track “Wings of Disease.”  The delicate opening gives way to a barrage of electronic bursts overtop of soft keys.  It’s a nice, ethereal closer to the album.  Overall the band does a nice balancing act between melody, darkness and despair, and emotional bursts, all over a bed of heavy, diabolical sounding chords.  They are also able to work in a lot of unique instrumentation and a variety of rhythmic themes.  At its core I would categorize this as Goth, with a fresh take on the traditional through electronic exploration.

4 Star Rating

1. Song of Rain
2. Sweet Infection
3. For all of us
4. Darkest Hours
5. Behind Me
6. Interude
7. Radium Valley
8. Into the Undergrounds
9. Last Resort
10. Interlude
11. Wings of Disease
Romain Janvier
Laurent Bidana
Karim Guerbaa
Aurelien Di Pasquale
Luc De Villars
Alexandra Morin
Armel Aglaee
Remi Brouillac

No Instruments Listed
Record Label: Pavement Entertainment


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