Rating:
9.0
Vallenfyre - A Fragile King
31 October 2011


01. All Will Suffer
02. Desecration
03. Ravenous Whore
04. Cathedrals Of Dread
05. As The World Collapses
06. A Thousand Martyrs
07. Seeds
08. Humanity Wept
09. My Black Siberia
10. The Divine Have Fled
11. The Grim Irony
12. Majesty Dethroned [limited edition bonus]


There have been a spate of so-called "super groups" emerging from the woodwork recently, flaunting their pasts as a means of attracting attention. Vallenfyre are a brand new British force comprised of people from other bands, but these connections hold no significance or influence over the music of Vallenfyre, or "strong fire" as is in old English.

Vallenfyre is a grimey and powerful embodiment of grief. The bass guitar reigns in this monumentally crushing, Celtic Frost-esque accumulation of doomy death metal. Inspired musically by the earliest forms of extreme metal and conceptually by the loss of Gregor Mackintosh's father, Vallenfyre is the dark culmination of a bereaving man's emotions.

Stretching from doom to death metal, A Fragile King doesn't allow itself to become too bogged down or over-indulgent. This is a wonderfully morbid combination of soul shattering earthly tones, top quality vintage-style death metal, and emotion. From the darkest moment of "Seeds" to the blood-pumping march of songs like "Ravenous Whore" and "Humanity Wept" with Gregor's grim death growls, A Fragile King is both a deeply touching journey and a monster of a death metal album.

Vallenfyre may be a somber and depressing outlet to one of life's harshest sorrows, but this embodiment of distress is bound to be one of the year's most impressive and harrowing works. A Fragile King is as powerful as they come, both compellingly and musically.

--

Doom / Death metal
United Kingdom
Length: 41:48
Century Media

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


Band profile: Vallenfyre
Album: A Fragile King


 



Written on 23.10.2011 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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Rulatore - 23.10.2011 at 21:00  
Holy crap, just heard some samples, seems awesome and the review makes me want it more
psykometal - 23.10.2011 at 21:28  
I never really got into Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride because I'm not really into the doom genre much but I've been a fan of Adrian Erlandsson for a long time which is why I checked that song out and I am glad I did because the song was pretty damn good and I was interested in this album but wasn't sure if I wanted to get it or not since I don't usually care for the doom genre but this review definitely makes me want to give this release a full on chance so I am going to get this asap and give it a few spins...
Baz Anderson - 23.10.2011 at 23:37  
Written by psykometal on 23.10.2011 at 21:28

I never really got into Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride because I'm not really into the doom genre much but I've been a fan of Adrian Erlandsson for a long time which is why I checked that song out and I am glad I did because the song was pretty damn good and I was interested in this album but wasn't sure if I wanted to get it or not since I don't usually care for the doom genre but this review definitely makes me want to give this release a full on chance so I am going to get this asap and give it a few spins...

There was a reason why I didn't mention those bands in my review. I don't care for them either, but either way they have no bearing on this album at all - completely different band.
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.10.2011 at 23:46  
My Dying Bride have no bearing on this album, indeed. But Paradise Lost actually does. Namely the very early Paradise Lost sound of their demo days which had loads of death metal in it and Gregor's guitar sound is quite similar to his sound of those days.

But of course Vallenfyre is totally not a doom band. It pure old school revivalist death metal with some doomy parts just like what death metal was back in the day and what loads of old school revivalist death metal have been playing before Vallenfyre came to be.
@gent_-_orange - 24.10.2011 at 00:02  
Desecration was good and I will be getting this for sure, Nice review.
Mr. Doctor - 24.10.2011 at 15:41  
Marcel is right, there's a lot of old Paradise Lost stuff going on here.

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.10.2011 at 23:46

But of course Vallenfyre is totally not a doom band. It pure old school revivalist death metal with some doomy parts just like what death metal was back in the day and what loads of old school revivalist death metal have been playing before Vallenfyre came to be.


Which is why I don't understand how someone gives this album a 9 for originality... I mean... Seriously?
Good album and all that jazz, greatly executed and all.. So the other ratings I can agree with but originality is no way more than a 6 unless you've never heard old school death metal in your life.
/end of my rant

I want this album, Old-Paradise Lost-like death metal is delicious.
Grimskallen - 24.10.2011 at 22:55  
I still feel some newschool paradise lost in there as well. From what I've heard so far, this sounds real good, and I'm not usually all that into death metal either. Looking forward to hearing it all. Kudos to Greg Mackintosh in dealing with the pain and making something creative out of it all.
Slayer666 - 25.10.2011 at 11:49  
If Greg can growl, we doesn't he handle the growls on Paradise Lost's live shows, instead of Nick's pretty awkward attempts at doing so? Not growling on "Gothic" kills the song.

But enough of my butt-hurt bitching, I'm eager to hear this one too.
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.10.2011 at 12:02  
Bloodbath called, they want their old guitar tone and riffs back.
Merchant of Doom - 25.10.2011 at 12:15  
Can't hear any doom in this... but I only managed to find two songs... what can I say? Polished production, boring mainstream sound... they obviously run out of beer money...
Mr. Doctor - 25.10.2011 at 16:47  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 25.10.2011 at 12:02

Bloodbath called, they want their old guitar tone and riffs back.


Entombed called, they want their guitar tone and riffs back that Bloodbath took.


Btw: The sound of this album is really similar if not the same as Paradise Lost's demos and debut album so I wouldn't comment about bands like Bloodbath at all
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.10.2011 at 16:56  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 25.10.2011 at 16:47


Entombed called, they want their guitar tone and riffs back that Bloodbath took away.


Btw: The sound of this album is really similar if not the same as Paradise Lost's demos and debut album so I wouldn't comment about bands like Bloodbath at all

Except the tone sounds nothing like Paradise Lost's first album. PL's is much deeper and cleaner and has less reverb and is pretty bog standard, sounds like loads of other bands. You're making that connection because of that band members, on a pure sound basis this is a totally early Bloodbath, that struck me within the first couple of seconds. Same with Entombed to a lesser extent, a much less distinctive sound.
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.10.2011 at 17:33  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 25.10.2011 at 17:06

Only deathcore is real then.

At the end of humanity only deathcore will remain.

Incidentally listening through this album now and there's no doom here. A few slowish sections but seems entirely old school death. It's ok but far from spectacular.
Marcel Hubregtse - 25.10.2011 at 17:46  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 25.10.2011 at 17:33

Incidentally listening through this album now and there's no doom here. A few slowish sections but seems entirely old school death.


That's why I said "doomy parts"

It is a decent album, but that's it. Think it will end up at an 8 for me.
But totally not original. Like Mr. Doctor said originality a 6 at most. I think i would settle for a 5 in that respect. But for a genre such as Vallenfyre operates in originality is nicht im/am (hell never know which one hahaha) frage.
And to me this smells like a cash grab. why start an old school death metal band now (consisting of band members from quite well known bands) when old school death metal is blossoming like never before.
Troy Killjoy - 25.10.2011 at 21:33  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 25.10.2011 at 17:46
And to me this smells like a cash grab. why start an old school death metal band now (consisting of band members from quite well known bands) when old school death metal is blossoming like never before.

What doesn't smell like a cashgrab to you Marcel?

At the very least he has an excuse. He wanted to write music after the passing of his father.
Marcel Hubregtse - 25.10.2011 at 21:36  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.10.2011 at 21:33

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 25.10.2011 at 17:46
And to me this smells like a cash grab. why start an old school death metal band now (consisting of band members from quite well known bands) when old school death metal is blossoming like never before.

What doesn't smell like a cashgrab to you Marcel?

At the very least he has an excuse. He wanted to write music after the passing of his father.


Call me a totally cynical old fuck, but I think he just uses as an excuse to generate even more
The times I have seen thigs like that happen in the music world...
Troy Killjoy - 25.10.2011 at 21:49  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 25.10.2011 at 21:36
Call me a totally cynical old fuck

You're a totally cynical old fuck.

But ya, there is a chance you're right. I mean nobody really knows except for him, if he sat down and thought...I can make money off of this. I can use my father's death as an inspiration story and my own name to sell some additional copies. Then again, he could be genuinely doing what he wants to as a result of a tragic loss. Who knows.
Marcel Hubregtse - 25.10.2011 at 22:12  
Removed the spam.
Merchant of Doom - 26.10.2011 at 00:23  
His motives are probably good, but it's still pretty lame stuff... some people get better with age... he's getting too polished... Still, I'd like to make an album like that when I'm 80...
Marcel Hubregtse - 26.10.2011 at 00:26  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 26.10.2011 at 00:23

His motives are probably good, but it's still pretty lame stuff... some people get better with age... he's getting too polished... Still, I'd like to make an album like that when I'm 80...


Well this Vallenfyre is superior to anything he did with Paradise Lost after Draconian Times.
And like someone said, why the hell dooesn't Greg due the growl vocals live instead of Nick trying his lame versions?
Merchant of Doom - 26.10.2011 at 12:04  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 26.10.2011 at 00:26


Well this Vallenfyre is superior to anything he did with Paradise Lost after Draconian Times.



doesn't take much...
psykometal - 26.10.2011 at 17:50  
Written by Baz Anderson on 23.10.2011 at 23:37

Written by psykometal on 23.10.2011 at 21:28


There was a reason why I didn't mention those bands in my review. I don't care for them either, but either way they have no bearing on this album at all - completely different band.

Ah I see, fair enough. Yea I'm looking forward to getting this...
Daniell - 28.10.2011 at 22:41  
This album would certainly be a 9 if I heard it in the 90's. Crunchy, juicy, catchy, obnoxiously pleasant and straightforwardly unpretentious. It sounds like the Sunlight Studios release too, with Tomas Skogsberg sound all over. But it's 2011 now, and I can't help thinking that Mr Mackintosh just wants to earn a few extra bucks by jumping on the revivalist bandwagon. He does it with class though!
Troy Killjoy - 29.10.2011 at 20:54  
Pretty boring; doesn't do anything to stand out from any of the other (several) revivalist death metal albums released this year. Decent for the atmosphere alone, but nothing more.
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.11.2011 at 20:25  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 25.10.2011 at 12:02

Bloodbath called, they want their old guitar tone and riffs back.


Btw Celtic Frost called as well they want half of the songs back
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.11.2011 at 20:26  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.10.2011 at 20:54

Pretty boring; doesn't do anything to stand out from any of the other (several) revivalist death metal albums released this year. Decent for the atmosphere alone, but nothing more.


I actually find it lacking in the atmosphere department.
Slinky666 - 25.11.2011 at 02:40  
I like "brave" metal. More productions like this and we can crush pop culture with our metal machinery.
Marcel Hubregtse - 25.11.2011 at 02:52  
Written by Guest on 25.11.2011 at 02:40

I like "brave" metal. More productions like this and we can crush pop culture with our metal machinery.


Brave this?
BoxCar Willy - 06.03.2012 at 22:12  
How have I not heard this yet.
Mr. Doctor - 06.03.2012 at 23:16  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 06.03.2012 at 22:12

How have I not heard this yet.


Out of all the revival wave of oldm bands, this one is one of the least inspiring if you ask me.

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