Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 4/16/2008
Vale Of Pnath
posted on 8/2008 By:
Holy Hell! This is an absolutely scorching debut self-financed EP from Denver’s Vale of Pnath. The band formed in 2005 and apparently spent a lot of time perfecting the four songs herein eventually getting sick of waiting on a label to catch on and doing the independent release thing. The EP came out nearly five months ago and I’ve heard next to nothing about it, so it's about time a legit metal resource sings its praises.
Vale of Pnath is something like the unholy marriage of Arsis and Anata taking on techdeath and melodeath with equal ferocity and ambition, and ultimately with equal success. This is a marvelous technical showcase that never loses sight of melody and structure making the songs remarkably easy to follow despite displaying dizzying dexterity. There is plenty of variety in tempos with lots of (but not too many) shifts and surprisingly sparing use of solos. The vocals are nearly split 50/50 between lower-midrange growls and higher shrieky-but-not-black screams. The drumming particularly reminds me of Anata in the way there are numerous blasting patterns utilized, making for some diverse and groovy rhythms. The bassist is a beast as he nimbly follows the frenetic drumming and riffing with relative ease and occasionally takes lead with some interesting fill work.
The aptly titled “Disoriented Blur” gets things started at a fever pitch as it's probably the overall speediest song present with memorable melodic leads. “A Witness to…” is next and contrasts the opener nicely with its focus on lumbering, groovy riffing and some truly scathing vocal layering. “Carcosa” is the best of the four tracks arguably with the EP’s heaviest and most memorable moments, not to mention the only true (and quite impressive) guitar solo herein. Wrapping things up is “Dens of Inequity” which has a plethora of nifty bass fills and is maybe the most diverse song overall.
As far as negatives go, the guitars have good tone and clarity but could maybe use a bit more thickness and crunch. I’d also like to see the band drop a few more solos in the mix. A little more vocal variety wouldn’t hurt but there is enough variation to keep this EP interesting. Frankly, their bassist could be shown off a bit more and mixed a bit higher, but that’s only if you really want to pick apart the details.
At just under 18 minutes, this self-titled EP is criminally short in length but incredibly promising. I’m anxious to see how this young band handles a proper full-length. They’ve certainly impressed the hell out of me so far and I think they have what it takes to make a big impact. Vale of Pnath is unfortunately looking for a new drummer so hopefully they can land one that can match the groove and technical ability of the one on this EP.
Where are you at Willowtip? Relapse? Don’t sleep on Vale of Pnath, they’re gonna be big.
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