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Combining the speed of death metal, the hooks of doom, and some blackened ambiance, Vallenfyre continues to pound the desperate optimism out of life into near extinction.


Album Review: VALLENFYRE For Those Who Fear Him

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Combining the speed of death metal, the hooks of doom, and some blackened ambiance, Vallenfyre continues to pound the desperate optimism out of life into near extinction. From the United Kingdom, Vallenfyre is a three member front that delivers a mature sound and has been building their thematic set darkness since 2010.

This will mark the band's third full-length album, and while its three members share time with their other bands (Paradise Lost, and My Dying Bride), it's apparent that there is no shortage of creativity or energy. Combing several different subgenres for influences, every album created by Vallenfyre seems to enhance the crusty fizzles and down-tuned effects in the guitars. This is an excellent sound for them, as their releases seem to get progressively louder and angrier. The drawback is the drumming, where technical in every way, seems much cleaner and on point than the crunching grind of the winding leading riffs. These conflicting "sounds" of clean verses make it harder to capture that full bodied doom riddled void I was hoping to find myself in.

As the band continues to find their momentum, their tone is excellent, and focus in this album For Those Who Fear Him is one of their best to date. The song writing seems to take a slightly more basic formulaic approach. There are still technical fills and off rhythm beats or riffs here and there, but a more simplistic punk-like vibe is starting to seep through. The basic verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus is present in some songs, and robs much of their originality.

"An Apathetic Grave" is a great example of this. Although it's one of their better tracks at combining subgenres, it locks itself into a formulaic pattern, leaving it too predictable. The riffs contain the eerie backing of pedaling notes that winds the chorus up to a doom ridden, crust embodied verse, where time has seemed to cease, yielding a beautiful, but torturous, segment. Once again, the chorus of "An Apathetic Grave" is pronounced, followed by a bridge that suspends a quick guitar solo, and again the chorus to close out the song. There is nothing against this more basic form of song writing, but the creativity of metal, one of the major joys I receive from the genre, is lacking in this track.

Many of the tracks exercise the brevity most angry grind and hardcore bands have adopted as characteristics for their music. It seems to work well for Vallenfyre, as their twelve tracks all contain uniqueness, and are very different from each other. For Those Who Fear Him is an album that has a lot to say musically, and breaking the tracks down so each thematic thread has their chance in the spot light makes for an entertaining experience.

I have been a long time follower of this band, but, after several years of silence, I was hoping for a little more. Still a great album and the combining of sounds and musical themes are seamless, seldom seen done so well in modern music. Regrettably, the cons though continue to remind me why Vallenfyre is not "one of my favorite" and just a "solid" band that awaits my particular mood for me to absorb.

Score: 6.5/10

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