This is the first full-length album by Colorado band Vale of Pnath (named for some place in an H.P. Lovecraft book…I really need to read Lovecraft…). I’m extremely impressed by these guys. They definitely have some serious brutality to them, but at the same time they understand that truly great music needs to have intricacy and complexity (as in their song Borne Extinction).
The first song starts out fast, and for the most Vale of Pnath keep up the pace for the duration of the album. There are brief interludes and choice songs where they slow things down, but for the most part these guys maintain a consistent intensity level. Because of this, each song must largely be set apart from the others by the uniqueness of the melodies, and Vale of Pnath does a wonderful job of keeping each song unique while staying within their own characteristic sound.
Their overall sound is really quite beautiful, once you get through the heaviness and to the core melody. And it’s not like these guys are a wave of undifferentiated noise, they’re just very complicated and it can take a few listens to pick through the sound, since all the instruments are off doing their own crazy-complicated things. The atmosphere created by these guys is unlike the dark, chugging “evilness” of traditional death metal, but that doesn’t mean that these guys sound cheery by comparison. They’ve created a sound that reminds me of a Lovecraftian underworld (I know, I haven’t read Lovecraft, but I have heard enough references that I get the general atmosphere of his books). Appropriate, considering their band name.
Fans of Decrepit Birth, The Faceless, and Son of Aurelius will really enjoy this band. Have yourself a listen: