Apr 292014

(In this post, NCS contributor KevinP interviews Hamish Glencross of Vallenfyre and My Dying Bride and along the way extracts a track-by-track commentary about the new Vallenfyre album — Splinters — which is scheduled for release by Century Media on May 12 in Europe and May 13 in North America.)

K:  Ok, let’s get something clear right from the start.  How close were you to convincing Gregor to change the name of the band to VallenPorn ‘stache??

 

 

H:  Heh heh! Well, I wanted to keep the focus off the facial hair as much as possible as I could tell it would be a distraction, so I thought better of it.  I was a little concerned people would think my dad had joined the band!

 

K:  LOL, fair point.  Papa Glencross.  If I may ask, whats the genesis behind that thing in the first place?

H:  Simply my daughter wanted me to grow a ‘stache.  And if that’s the worst thing she’ll ever ask of me, I’d be doing ok.

Oct 012012

EDITOR’S PREFACE:

NCS reader and occasional guest contributor KevinP was able to snag an opportunity to interview guitarist Hamish Glencross of UK doom legends My Dying Bride (and Vallenfyre), and we’re thrilled to present their discussion here. My Dying Bride’s twelfth studio album, A Map of All Our Failures, is scheduled for release on October 15 by Peaceville Records. It follows the band’s acclaimed 2011 single-song EP, The Barghest o’ Wihtby. We previously featured (here) the first song released from the new album, “Kneel till Doomsday”.

 

KP: What have you done differently this time around, if anything at all, on this new album?

HG: Things had changed with having done The Barghest EP. We had brought back a level of intensity that had taken us back to using loud valve amps with an inspiring harmonic feedback in our sound, which we pushed to an extreme on the EP.  We wanted to maintain much of that, but to bring it more in line with a grander, epic approach more in keeping with what we would want to do with a full length album.  Andy [Craighan] and I had a very strong vision of what we wanted to do, and had actually started writing the music for this album as far back as two years ago. We had each set up quite considerable home studios, so we had recorded everything in a very advanced demo format before even hitting the studio, so we had done a LOT more preparation for this album,  more than anything we have done before.

We also had the ability to develop ideas much further, and continue to write and re-write right up to recording the actual release.  This is also how we ended up with a lot more songs recorded than we usually would do, allowing us to cherry-pick the most suitable songs for the album.

Nov 302011

(This is the first of two NCS reviews of A Fragile King by Vallenfyre. The author of this one is TheMadIsraeli.)

If you didn’t already get the point from our numerous posts about these guys, they’re the shit.  Islander was going to review this, and I hope he still does. I’d hate to think I stole some fun from him, but considering that this is filthy, dank, dingy, doom-soaked, old-school death metal, it’s right up my fucking alley and I can’t resist writing a review.  If you’re a total whore for bands like Asphyx or Hail Of Bullets, as I am, you’ll find a comfortable home here.

If the banshee wail of feedback that starts “All Will Suffer” doesn’t give you a clue, its crunchy buzz-saw toned opening trudge of a riff will.  The entire song is a slog through disease-ridden, stygian marshes at its finest.  The first thing that immediately sticks out is a quality that makes for great death metal:  The ability of a band to insert subtle hints of melody into an otherwise atonal framework.  This is definitely one of the strengths that Vallenfyre has going for them in spades.  A Fragile King is loaded to the brim with memorable half-melodies, we’ll call them.

“Desecration” actually has a purely melodic outro, a mournful one with an almost funeral-doom character, in contrast to the song’s otherwise dissonant and sinister aura.  Other tunes like “Ravenous Whore” or “Cathedrals of Dread” bring the speedier moments of savagery, eviscerating everything above and below.

The riffs are solid, burdensome, and colossal in scope.  Listening to them almost produces a sensation of being drowned in a tidal wave of blood-soaked flesh. What also hooks me about this album is the absolutely immense Winter vibe (fittingly, I recently wrote a “Revisiting the Classics” piece on Into Darkness). “Seeds” really channels that feeling, but raises it (or rather sinks it) to an entirely new level of grim and morbid.  You can literally feel yourself subsiding into the floor.

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