Monday, December 05, 2011

Vallenfyre: A Fragile King (2011)


My Dying Bride is one of my all-time favorite bands. Along with Paradise Lost and Anathema, they comprise the so-called Peaceville Three, the bands which pioneered the death/doom genre. All three of those bands have abandoned (or nearly abandoned) death metal entirely, however, going into gothic metal, doom, and even post-rock. Well, members of MDB and Paradise Lost have gotten together to form Vallenfyre, a band which returns them to their death metal roots.

A Fragile King is a fine example of doomy, old-school death metal. It's not full-on death/doom (except perhaps on "Seeds"), and rarely does it ever reference the better-known bands of these veterans (except perhaps "Cathedrals of Dread"). So there's no rehashing here.

Even so, OSDM is certainly not hard to come by these days. But this is a strong example of the style. Paradise Lost guitarist Gregor Mackintosh has a stunningly-great death growl (why didn't he ever do their vocals?), and the production, though clean, is heavy. The songs have memorable choruses (especially "A Thousand Martyrs") and the riffs are great, while more high-pitched leads do something to set them apart from the crowd.

The Verdict: When was the last time Century Media did something right? Was it way back to The Crown from last year? Anyway, they did this one right. These guys have given us more than enough death to make up for what the label's more recent output lacks. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.


  1. New Krisiun is also a tasty recent Century Media release.

  2. This track you posted reminds me a lot of Bloodbath. That's cool.

  3. Yeah, I didn't think about that. I didn't think about that when I was listening to it before. The songs tend slower than Bloodbath, the tone isn't as Swe-, and the personality is definitely different, but the riffs and vocal delivery fit.