Uk supergroup Vallenfyre caused a minor ripple in the metal scene back in 2011 with their debut, A Fragile King, a pretty solid doom death outfit with nods to the bands primary members Gregor Mackintosh of Paradise Lost and Hamish Glencross of My Dying Bride and drummer Daniel Erlandsson. It was a solid effort but not great, especially considering the line up. Well, here is the follow up and it absolutely blows the debut away.

Every year I announce a band that has my new favorite guitar tone, recently it was Brutally Deceased, but Ill be damned if famed producer Kurt Ballou has rendered the absolute sickest guitar tone  of the year (for now at least). It’s a sickly primeval, punishing sound that  mixes classic, burly, Swedish death metal mid range buzz  with Paradise Lost’s early heft and a dash of more raw, sloppy glistening Autopsy hues. It absolutely crushes, even more so when you consider the music itself has the very same influence with a heavy smattering of Celtic Forest/Obituary thrown in for good measure.

Even with a heavy miasma of Paradise Lost‘s landmark debut heavy in the air, with ample, heaving slow doomy moments (“Bereft”, “Aghast”, “Splinters”), the urgency and ferocity has been cranked up quite a bit as head on the likes of opener “Scabs”, bristling “Instinct Slaughter”, “Cattle”  and ‘Thirst for Extinction”. Amid the more common blasts and d beat romps, the the increased instantly recognizable Celtic Frost vibe rears its ugly head with gusto, particularly on the likes of the monstrous chug of “Dragged to Gehenna” , “Savages Arise” and “Wolves of Sin”.

Where A Fragile King was full of good not great songs, every song on Splinters hits the mark whether a short, brutal mark (“Instinct Slaughter “) or dirtied up Lost Paradise throes of standout crawlers “Bereft” (which really recalls Lost Paradise)  and “Splinters” (both of which really recall Lost Paradise). Greg Mackintosh’s is again channeling his inner Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost) and Paul Kuhr (Novembers Doom) with deep but clear annunciation giving the filthy guitars just a little elegance. The end result is a much more complete and super group worthy album that makes Vallenfyre the UKs equivalent to Bloodbath.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 16th, 2014


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Isn’t it weird how the singer from Paradise Lost ended up joining Bloodbath after you said this?

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