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Rating:
8.4
A Storm Of Light - As The Valley Of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade
17 May 2011


01. Missing [feat. Kim Thayil and Nerissa Campbell]
02. Collapse [feat. Jarboe]
03. Black Wolves [feat. Kim Thayil and Nerissa Campbell]
04. Destroyer [feat. Carla Kihlstedt]
05. Wretched Valley
06. Silver
07. Leave No Wounds
08. Death's Head [feat. Jarboe]
09. Wasteland [feat. Kris Force, Matthias Bossi and Nerissa Campbell]


As The Valley Of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade is A Storm Of Light's follow-up to 2009's Forgive Us Our Trespasses. The last release from these men with ties to Neurosis and Tombs was good, it just never seemed cohesive enough to totally click with me. Their latest, henceforth referred to as the Alphabet Soup to save on word count (and to help me stave off carpal tunnel syndrome), sure did click.

The band's genre is one of those square pegs that won't be rammed into a round hole, as far as genre goes. They straddle that whole post-rock/doom/stoner thing.

Alphabet Soup, which sounds like the title of a Minsk album also has the sound of a Minsk album… amazing production that makes the whole thing feel huge and sprawling. Everything just sounds awesome.

Musically the band's tracks grow and swell, incorporating Mellow Moments ™ with pounding tribal drums and thundering riffs. The band seamlessly meshes the style, shifting and sliding between moods. Josh Graham's vocals fit in really well, being more sung than shouted, they add to the almost foggy/hazy environment. With all of this fluidity and shifting, it still seems to remain grounded in somewhat traditional structures, which I think might be a factor in my increased enjoyment.

The album also features almost as many special guest appearances as a season of The Simpsons, including Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Jarboe (Swans), Nerissa Campbell, Kris Force (Amber Asylum) as well as Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi, both with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and The Book Of Knots) … the cavalcade of characters provide some nice little touches, from wah-drenched leads to backing female vocals to further enhance the almost post-apocalyptic mood.

There are two kinds of "Very Good" albums… those like Slayer's Seasons In the Abyss, with a couple awesome tracks that floor the listener mixed in with some skip worthy sub-par tracks. Then there is the second type, which is where Alphabet Soup fits in. There aren't any jaw-dropping tracks that stand head and shoulders above the rest, nor any horribly "meh" songs that make you reach for the next button. Instead you get nine straight really solid tracks, one after another. This album is best enjoyed top to bottom.

The label, Black Label Support recommends this album for fans of classic Metallica, early Pink Floyd, Tombs, Tool, Neurosis, Swans, and Voivod.

I'm going to skip the namedropping and just plain recommend it. Check it out. Now.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: A Storm Of Light
Album: As The Valley Of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade


 



Written on 17.05.2011 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Marcel Hubregtse - 17.05.2011 at 00:59  
A very good album indeed. Sanford Parker once again did a brilliant production job.
Daydream Nation - 17.05.2011 at 01:12  
Kim Thayil is on this? Already a must listen. He fucking rocks.
Fat & Sassy! - 18.05.2011 at 05:33  
This sounds like it'd be right up my alley. Checking it out. Great review.
BitterCOld - 18.05.2011 at 06:04  
Thanks. really good album. better than i expected. a lot better.
Edmund Fogg - 18.05.2011 at 13:13  
Nice review. I'll check them out asap. I will never understand why bands try to have the longest album name ever, but regardless, I'm listening to Collapse now and it is really heavy stuff. If the rest is like that it's a buy for me. (wich means a lot coming from me)
Collin - 20.05.2011 at 16:55  
The album name sounds about as pretentious and nonsensical as a Red Sparowes songtitle. I guess it's Josh Graham's fault. Anyway, this is a very good album, better than the half-great/half-boring previous one. Like Craig said, the quality level of Alphabet Soup (that's handy, thanks) is consistently high.
MechanisT - 23.05.2011 at 16:19  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.05.2011 at 00:59

A very good album indeed. Sanford Parker once again did a brilliant production job.


Indeed. I was pleasantly surprised with the clarity of the production. I was expecting a fizzed-out sound from this record for some reason, but the production is crystal clear, and a solid asset to the overall sound. Enjoying this one quite a lot at the present.
ravendeath - 02.06.2011 at 20:57  
Wasteland is fucking amazing! Love the album.
Ag Fox - 14.06.2011 at 17:53  
Awesome album + production indeed
Mr. Doctor - 20.06.2011 at 20:09  
Hmmm meh, found it good, but that's it... Quite forgetable for me. But still good every now and then.

I'll give it something between 7,0 to 7,5
InnerSelf - 23.08.2011 at 23:44  
I am enjoying this a lot at the moment

Quote:
There aren't any jaw-dropping tracks that stand head and shoulders above the rest, nor any horribly "meh" songs that make you reach for the next button. Instead you get nine straight really solid tracks, one after another.


this is so true , and I actually prefer this kind of albums
tea[m]ster - 01.01.2012 at 06:44  
Written by Collin on 20.05.2011 at 16:55

The album name sounds about as pretentious and nonsensical as a Red Sparowes songtitle


Bingo! That made me laugh!

I don't know who these guys sound like yet...maybe...The Ocean?
Mr. Doctor - 01.01.2012 at 16:09  
Written by tea[m]ster on 01.01.2012 at 06:44
I don't know who these guys sound like yet...maybe...The Ocean?


I thought the review was clear enough, specially the last couple of sentences.

It's an good album, nothing more than that though.
JD - 02.02.2012 at 13:57  
Written by InnerSelf on 23.08.2011 at 23:44

I am enjoying this a lot at the moment

Damn, this album is brilliant!

The vocals sounds like something between Isole and Alice In Chains, I always worshiped clean vocals like this. Thank you for recommending them.
InnerSelf - 03.02.2012 at 00:16  
Written by JD on 02.02.2012 at 13:57

Written by InnerSelf on 23.08.2011 at 23:44

I am enjoying this a lot at the moment

Damn, this album is brilliant!

The vocals sounds like something between Isole and Alice In Chains, I always worshiped clean vocals like this. Thank you for recommending them.


You're welcome bor
As for the vocals, I can't say that I hear any Isole but I agree they are brilliant

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