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Valor - Destiny's Path (CD)

Destiny's Path
by Grigoris Chronis at 21 June 2008, 4:51 PM

It's the case you were glad proven wrong in the past. Listening to VALOR's newest release, I tried to figure out why I was more than doubtful against the Greek Metal band's The Nameless One (2004) mini-CD debut. Anyway…Worth every cent you have to spend on it, Destiny's Path can as well be one of the finest releases for 2008 in the Heavy/Power/Epic field. Worldwide, I mean.
The progress of the band between these two albums is like a fairytale. OK, not to be that harsh; VALOR, in my opinion, presented some really good ideas in their 2004 EP. Spirited Metal with more obvious references to the genre's 80s ideals (one eye in Britain and one in the US) but enough had to be fixed in the 'arrangements' section plus more working hours needed in terms of on-the-spot musicianship. Four years passed by, the Athenian band performed a good bunch of shows in order to gain onstage experience and - most of all, if occurred - listened to their album a lot after it was released and decided to work on it even harder. That's not a fact, only a draft theory.
And then Destiny's Path takes over. Well, the evolution of VALOR is more than surprising, to tell the truth. The only 'minus' factor I would defy is the dry production. Else, the songs and the performance and the general atmosphere of the album is exceptional or more.
Having seen VALOR onstage nearly each time they appeared on a live set the last years, truth is their recent performance as a support slot to fellow Greek metallers INNERWISH's 10th anniversary  (read here) was bombastic. The same goes for Destiny's Path; tons of melodies dressed up in a classic Metal outfit, strong vocals by Vaggelis with some high yet warm singing, a great work on back-up vocals providing extra harmonies to the choruses (not in the exhausting oh-oh-oh-oh way…), ample yet powerful riffs/leads (twin ones, the most) in the guitars section, with more of metallic zeal and less of no-reason jabbering, and - last but not least - a rhythm section grabbing you by the balls by playing nothing different than descent 80s Metal in full passion.
If The Nameless One was more into the semi-barbaric kind of Metal (short of a fashion for many Greek bands) with a tendency for primal songwriting approach, the tracklist of the new CD is - in relation - over the top. The songs are more melodic (do not even imagine anything close to 'happy' Euro Power stuff) and draws more inspiration from 80s 'simply Metal' bands with less (but still existing) 'epic' elements.
No Flowers On My Grave bring on a hopeful energy through its moody lyrics theme (great back-up vocals in the refrain), Evil In Your Mind portrays a personal 'sting' of expressive Metal harmony not frequent in 'retro' Metal bands (the bass licks kick huge ass!), Perseus has the perfect equilibrium of melody and heaviness in a striking 'battlefield' tempo, V.A.L.I.S. will trap you in its haunting 'twin leads' guitar theme…and the story goes. No single filler, all the songs are equally interesting and bear a positive vibe you shall not resist even if you initially cry out for their sporadic adjustment to less warlike themes. Yes, the band now performs less 'epic' but more 'heavy' Metal music.
Serious as hell; VALOR, with Destiny's Path, has created such a unique blend that - among other benefits - makes it hard to just name bands with similar style and get over with it. For unknown reasons, the spirit of the might OMEN - in the melodic parts of their Warning Of Danger (not that much) and The Curse (mainly) albums - crossed my minds while a parallel path to mid-80s IRON MAIDEN's (stick to the 'melodies vs epic parts' battles) or CLOVEN HOOF's (Dominator/A Sultan's Ransom era) output procedures should be also mentioned draftly.
If you think Greek Metal warriors like BATTLEROAR or AIRGED L'AMH have showed their teeth via their 2008s releases, here - in no 'pomp' marketing whatsoever - is possibly the best release so far in what we should refer to as 'traditional' Metal. If not available in your local store, just contact the band/label and they'll help you taste the magic asap. They're not that much of Epic Metal wannabe warriors but more of conscious 'classic' metalheads.

P.S.: Check the band's take on ACCEPT's The King and believe…

4 Star Rating

The Evil In Your Mind
Into The Night
No Flowers On My Grave
Thoughts Of Greatness
Dust Again…
Whispering Of Steel
Dragon's Blood
Vaggelis - Vocals
Spyros - Guitars
Chris - Bass
Thodoris - Drums
Record Label: Eat Metal Records


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