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Valence - Laser Baron Award winner

Laser Baron
by Calen Nesten at 11 August 2014, 10:24 AM

VALENCE released Laser Baron on June 10th of 2014.  The EP is their second release for the Westchester, NY based band after Sleepwalker was released in 2012. The band’s Facebook page gave me a quick science lesson by informing me that “The name Valence refers to the bonding power of an atom in chemistry, a fitting name for this experimental, tonally eclectic, highly technical band. Also, the artwork involves a scientist getting sucked into a wormhole while military personnel flee in panic and that’s pretty damn awesome. It sets your imagination in a particularly science fiction direction that’s hard to shake, especially with progressive metal’s flirtation with the genre. VALENCE’s new EP is like a miniature symphony, it flows, the second “movement” is slower than the first, and, well, all I’m trying to say is that I took one semester of music theory and VALENCE clearly knows what they are doing as far as composition is concerned.

The opening track “Laser Baron” kicks off with a fast-paced, metallic, shrieking riff that borders on the industrial side and kicks into classic progressive-metal.  “Wormhole” is a slower paced track with a haunting intro that acts as a sort of theme for the remainder of the EP. The intro fades and briefly drifts into DEVO territory from 1:09 until about 1:27 where the track becomes a serene, jazz empowered melody that builds back into a heavy metal riff and dissolves into the intro’s refrain. It’s not fair to call it a ‘refrain’ I suppose, it’s actually the intro for the final track “The Reckoning” but the transition is so flawless I didn’t notice until halfway through the track when “The Reckoning” takes on a more aggressive tone and closes with the intro to the first track. Putting the album on repeat is like being swallowed into a wormhole, it’s easy to turn this seventeen-minute album into forty-five minute one. Laser Baron is a solid, calculated album that bonds many genres and influences into one stable, prog-based element of modern melodic metal.

5 Star Rating

1. Laser Baron
2. Wormhole
3. The Reckoning
Michael Buonanno - Guitar
Geoffrey Schaefer -Guitar
Chris Romano - Drums
Ian Morris - Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 01 February 2023

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