Vallenfyre - Fear Those Who Fear Him review



Reviewer:
8.0

68 users:
7.78
Band: Vallenfyre
Album: Fear Those Who Fear Him
Release date: June 2017


01. Born To Decay
02. Messiah
03. Degeneration
04. An Apathetic Grave
05. Nihilist
06. Amongst The Filth
07. The Merciless Tide
08. Dead World Breathes
09. Soldier Of Christ
10. Cursed From The Womb
11. Kill All Your Masters
12. Temple Of Rats


Long story short: Vallenfyre were formed back in 2010 by Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) as an outlet to actively deal with the death of his father, with Hamish Glencross (ex-My Dying Bride) as co-founding member. The band has already released two acclaimed albums and Fear Those Who Fear Him is their highly anticipated successor, so let's dive into Vallenfyre's bottomless pit and listen to the music.

First of all, what has changed in the band is that it has recorded as a three-piece for the first time. Waltteri Väyrynen is the new member, having replaced Adrian Erlandsson behind the drum kit (as he has also done in Paradise Lost). The result is that they now sound more focused and direct, with an all-out aggressive guitar tone that cuts like a chainsaw, raw and abrasive basslines and ferocious, hammering drums. Mackintosh's venomous growls sound like they originate from the earth's core and lace the album with absolute darkness. Kurt Ballou's (Converge) production is on the same note and provides Fear Those Who Fear Him with a savage and crushing sound, which is exactly what an act like Vallenfyre needs.

Musically, the new album doesn't swim in uncharted waters and it is as stripped down as they come, displaying nonetheless enough variety. There is old school death metal fused with plenty of grind, as one can find in the absolute brutality that is called "Nihilist" or in the 40 second-long battering of the senses "Dead World Breathes". The first single "Kill All Your Masters", as well as "Amongst The Filth" and "Soldier Of Christ" are unapologetically flirting with crust and finally there are some nice treats of doom/death ("An Apathetic Grave", "The Merciless Tide", "Cursed From The Womb").

As was the case with A Fragile King and Splinters, there is not much in common between Vallenfyre and Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride. The band's sound remains inspired by first-wave black metal (Celtic Frost and early Bathory), old school death metal (Autopsy), grind (early Napalm Death) and punk (Discharge). However, some Paradise Lost parts can be heard in the lead guitar over the chorus of the magnificent "An Apathetic Grave" or the intro of "The Merciless Tide" and the very limited melody in this album often has a Gothic-reminding aura. The scarcity of melodic parts is a bit of a shame really because, when they do appear, they sound excellent and leave me craving for more.

Lyrically, Fear Those Who Fear Him is looking at a world in turmoil, dealing with political and religious issues, depicting a dysfunctional and declining society and of course spitting out hate, misery and death. The cover artwork is properly representative of the musical content, being abundantly infernal and terrifying.

Summing up in eight words: "Twelve songs. No samples. No triggers. No bullshit." This is how Greg Mackintosh describes what one can expect from Fear Those Who Fear Him. And he tells the truth. There are no innovations or experimentation here, but the lack of originality is overcompensated for by the album's intensity and honest intentions. No song overstays its welcome and compared to its predecessors Fear Those Who Fear Him rates higher in my mind because of its direct character, its better compositions and its captivating atmosphere. The doom, gloom and bleakness that this record is submerged in are enough to fill a gigantic crack in the ground, created by an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0. Hence the score.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 21.06.2017 by See them shimmy see them go,
see their painted faces glow,
slow slow quick quick slow,
see those pagans go go go go go!


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 171 users
21.06.2017 - 21:24
RichardPickman
Well, it sounds more like Dismember/Entombed than Dismember/Entombed sounded in the last past 15 years. I like this album a lot.
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23.06.2017 - 01:58
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by RichardPickman on 21.06.2017 at 21:24

Well, it sounds more like Dismember/Entombed than Dismember/Entombed sounded in the last past 15 years. I like this album a lot.

I think it is more versatile than the ones you mention.
----
on and on south of heaven

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24.06.2017 - 17:19
RichardPickman
Well, it is indeed a bit more versatile, but the vibe is still present. I love this fuzzy guitarsound.
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24.06.2017 - 22:19
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by RichardPickman on 24.06.2017 at 17:19

Well, it is indeed a bit more versatile, but the vibe is still present. I love this fuzzy guitarsound.

Yes I agree, it's gorgeous. I 've been listening to the album on repeat for the last month.
----
on and on south of heaven

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25.06.2017 - 04:12
VIG
Crimson King
Currently listening. Kurt Ballou usually produces good albums.
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25.06.2017 - 11:29
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by VIG on 25.06.2017 at 04:12

Currently listening. Kurt Ballou usually produces good albums.

True. Share your thoughts when you finish it. I think it needs 3 or 4 plays at least like every album, but it grows on you fairly quickly.
----
on and on south of heaven

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25.06.2017 - 16:10
VIG
Crimson King
Written by nikarg on 25.06.2017 at 11:29

True. Share your thoughts when you finish it. I think it needs 3 or 4 plays at least like every album, but it grows on you fairly quickly.


I agree with the above comments about how it sounds like Dismember/Entombed. But honestly, I have never been a big fan of this style of music. Yes I used like the old school bands, and there are some dm bands I like, but for me usually it's just boring to listen to.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 7

Overall 6.0
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30.06.2017 - 16:16
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by VIG on 25.06.2017 at 16:10

Written by nikarg on 25.06.2017 at 11:29

True. Share your thoughts when you finish it. I think it needs 3 or 4 plays at least like every album, but it grows on you fairly quickly.


I agree with the above comments about how it sounds like Dismember/Entombed. But honestly, I have never been a big fan of this style of music. Yes I used like the old school bands, and there are some dm bands I like, but for me usually it's just boring to listen to.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 7

Overall 6.0

It makes sense to not particularly like this album if you are not into dm. I also find the genre generally boring and dig only a few selected dm releases. I thought this one was interesting because it is influenced by different genres and the songs demonstrate some variety.
----
on and on south of heaven

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16.07.2017 - 03:15
RichardPickman
I think the term "oldschool" does not quiet fit here. In some point of the past it split into Morbid Angel/Death like and Entombed/Dismember style of DM. These are different streams of this genre. Both have a distinctive sound and some folks like the one or the other.
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