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Vallenfyre - Splinters Award winner

by Daniel Fox at 05 May 2014, 3:40 PM

A Death Metal band made up of members of PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE, DOOM and AT THE GATES can surely be expected to deliver excellent metal of the highest standard. VALLENFYRE is one hell of an extreme Metal supergroup, and “Splinters” is a raw, heavy and no-frills approach to a stark amalgamating of Death and Doom.

“Scabs” is a perfect way to set the album off on its solemn journey. Darkly melodic guitars try in vain to conceal the unbridled rhythmic beast that lies in Adrian Erlandsson's playing, which truly stands out on the opening track. Powerfully-emotional dirge sections are scattered periodically throughout the song after dramatic rises in speed, as if the track is reminding us of an inescapable weight on our shoulders. “Instinct Slaughter” is somewhat of a move towards traditional death metal in the vein of MORBID ANGEL or old DEICIDE, with a glorious intrusion of reckless Thrash riffs. What I am beginning to especially love about this album is the mixing; the organic, under-produced sound of the drums, under the near-buzz droning of the guitars and bass; unadulterated and unforgiving.

“Savages Arise” shows a seeping through of what appears to be the odd Punk and Groove influence, with such riffs plentiful; a lethal, rioting anarchy of riffs and unchained emotion, almost fun, in a dangerous kind of way. “Thirst for Extinction” was perhaps my favorite track on the release, as it appears to evolve with a liquid, formless fluidity with blink-and-you-miss-it transitions between a great number of instrumentations; Death to Thrash to Punk to Doom in the space of a minute. With tracks like this the band need not to make room for icing such as fancy melodies or solos, but throw out riff after riff of pure hate.

Metal supergroups are arguably more often met with higher expectations, as per the notability (or notoriety) of their members, but any love and respect VALLENFYRE receive for this new release is well-deserved.

4 Star Rating

1. Scabs
2. Bereft
3. Instinct Slaughter
4. Odious Bliss
5. Savage Arise
6. Aghast
7. The Wolves of Sin
8. Cattle
9. Dragged to Gehenna
10. Thirst for Extinction
11. Splinters
Gregor Mackintosh – Vocals, Guitars
Hamish Glencross – Guitars
Scoot – Bass
Adrian Erlandsson – Drums
Record Label: Century Media


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