Third album for Vallenfyre, a real outlet for the extreme drives of one of the most influential musicians in the history of metal, which can be considered Greg Mackintosh. The birth of this project, not by chance, corresponds to a relative return to darker sounds even by Paradise Lost, even if obviously the hardening of the sound on the one hand comes to the construction of a real death, albeit cloaked by a thick blanket of darkness, while on the other hand it supports with greater conviction the gothic and melodic feeling. With Vallenfyre Mackintosh goes even further in terms of ruthlessness and ferocity, compared to the first steps made with Paradise Lost, but especially if compared to the two previous full lengths: a glowing meteorite such as Messiah is worth more than any description and is the ideal business card that welcomes those who want to try to enter the inhospitable imagination of the British musician. Talking about death doom, then, could have been improper if it were not for the presence in the setlist of some episodes that bring directly to the morbid slowdowns of the debut album A Fragile King and in which Mackintosh gives the inimitable trademark guitar that fans of Paradise Lost know well: here then come the beautiful An Apathetic Grave and The Merciless Tide to reaffirm to the uninitiated who has defined, along with a few others in the early ’90s, the coordinates of gothic death doom as we know it today. The rest of the tracklist is an avalanche of superior class death, played, composed and sung by Gregor Mackintosh who proves to be not only a magnificent interpreter of his instrument but also a growler who fears no comparison: tracks with a telluric impact like Degeneration, Nihilst, Kill All Your Masters, among the others, appear at the same time brutal but marked by a surprising clarity of sound, thanks also to a band that sees at work also the former My Dying Bride Hamish Glencross (guitar and bass) and the current drummer of Lost, the young Finnish Waltteri Väyrynen. There is also time for a slightly different episode, but no less powerful and menacing in its progression, like the dissonant Cursed From The Womb before the album closes with a Temple Of Tears that leaves no room for regrets and second thoughts. Paradoxically, I think that the birth of Vallenfyre has also helped Paradise Lost themselves, and this is testified by the fact that their most recent production (waiting for the next album) has regained the polish of the good times after a period of relative tarnishing. Beyond this, Vallenfyre should be enjoyed for what they are, that is a magnificent death metal band with doom veins, without falling into the mortal sin of considering it a simple diversion of a musician bored by the fame acquired with his main band.

2017 – Century Media