We’ve been following the music of the Italian death metal band Valgrind for many years, and for good reason. But if you happen to be discovering them for the first time, despite how often we’ve written about them, they released four demos and an EP between 1995 and 2002 — and then seemed to go into hibernation until the appearance ten years later of their debut album, Morning Will Come No More. Another four years passed, and then Valgrind’s second album, Speech of the Flame, was released by Lord of the Flies Records. The wonderful 2017 EP Seal of Phobos tided over Valgrind fans until the 2018 appearance of the next album, Blackest Horizon, via Everlasting Spew Records.
And then last year brought us a new full-length, Condemnation, which was released in July through the Spanish label Memento Mori, who rightly characterized the record as “poignant, crushing and classy”. It was further proof of what the band’s discography had already revealed, i.e., that Valgrind aren’t content to remain stuck in one place. Even after all this time, they have continued to evolve, to challenge themselves, and to let their interests and ambitions lead them to create music that’s mentally and emotionally engrossing for listeners — as well as frequently eye-popping in its ferocity.
And now Valgrind will be independently releasing a new EP named From the Viscera of Darkness, and today we’re pleased to present a video for the title track.
Valgrind introduce the new EP with these words:
“We are pleased to present you the From the Viscera of Darkness EP! Originally recorded during the Condemnation full-length album sessions, the new EP’s title track is a ferocious mix of everything Valgrind is: aggression, majestic melodies and an indisputable early nineties Death Metal vibe! The visualizer video was made by Camillo Copat. The digital EP also includes a cover track for the legendary Pestilence song “The Secrecies of Horror”!”
The title track which you’re about to hear definitely is ferocious, and it’s a head-spinner too. As Daniele Lupidi expels the lyrics in a raw and rabid howl, the band shift gears repeatedly, moving with abandon from riff to riff and from one pummeling drum pattern to another. The riffing darts, seethes, becomes a feeding frenzy, cavorts, and careens, backed by a rhythm section performance that’s equally varying and attention-grabbing.
The music creates sensations of cold cruelty, unhinged mania, and defiant grandeur. Near the end, as the drumming relentlessly hammers, a keyboard layer emerges like a haunting mist, accented by darting piano keys and near-industrial percussive pounding. The centerpiece of the song is an absolutely spectacular extended guitar solo that swirls, soars, shrieks, and eventually becomes a jaw-dropping fret-melter.
All in all, an excellent reminder of this band’s superior talent. We haven’t heard the Pestilence cover song yet, but it should make a fine companion for the title track.
As noted at the outset, Valgrind will be releasing the EP independently via their Bandcamp page. We expect it will be available there soon.