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Vallenfyre - A Fragile King

A Fragile King
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 15 December 2011, 4:49 PM

The death of loved one can cause some disturbing thoughts that might eventually succumb to a self inflicting pain. However, dealing with grief and sorrow through music can serve as both a healing process and a memoriam for the one that was lost. Gregor Mackintosh, founder and lead guitarist of PARADISE LOST, went through the paths of anguish when his father died of cancer almost two years ago. Through the music he wrote he dealt, and possibly still dealing, with his father's death while savoring a place of honor and also reattaching himself with his own roots. That musical form was named VALLENFYRE.

"A Fragile King", via Century Media, represents a struggle, a true harsh emotional battle, filled with discontent, anger and the utmost angst. Mackintosh, with his well written music and lyrics, established quite of an old school ground with strong hints of BLACK SABBATH, MORBID ANGEL, HELLHAMMER and CELTIC FROST among others that lurked in the depths of eternal darkness.

What I mostly liked about this release, in comparison to the most of others alike, is the fact that here there is a strong cohesion between the music and the composer. The written material is a tool in the hand of its creator to handle a negative process. Therefore, with almost every slow tempo lead section I could, at least partially, share the man's pain. Also, as I mentioned, there is this sort of anger in the music that shows a darker side that doesn't like the current state of affairs in our world's society. The utter down tuned guitars that generated some wicked sounded riffages and the buildup of several speedy sections were a result of how the music adapted to the gloomy surrounding. No doubt about it that Grief and anger joined together can be a powerful combination.

Probably you will notice that there aren't too much melodies on the album, well I can tell you that is it quite noticeable from the first echoes of the opener. However, if you were fond of PARADISE LOST's debut, "Lost Paradise", the overall sensation, merely when it comes to the lead section, is almost the same. "A Fragile King" had some effect on me regarding the deep relationship between father and son, which is the reason why I liked "Seeds" and "The Grim Irony" very much. As society's decaying process, "My Black Siberia" and "Cathedrals Of Dread" were my prime champions.

Though the album has a way to sluggishly pace, it felt as if a burden of man was shedding its skin. I suggest that you watch for this one.

4 Star Rating

1. All Will Suffer
2. Desecration
3. Ravenous Whore
4. Cathedrals of Dread
5. As the World Collapses
6. A Thousand Martyrs
7. Seeds
8. Humanity Wept
9. My Black Siberia
10. The Divine Have Fled
11. The Grim Irony 
Gregor Mackintosh- Vocals and Lead Guitar
Hamish Glencross- Rhythm and Lead Guitars
Mully- Rhythm Guitars
Scoot- Bass
Adrian Erlandsson– Drums
Record Label: Century Media


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Edited 09 February 2023

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