Nov 08

Vallenfyre – A Fragile King (2011)


Vallenfyre - A Fragile King

While Vallenfyre itself is a fairly new band, its members are far from newbies. Consisting of members from Paradise Lost, Doom, and My Dying Bride, this band did not form with the intent on being labeled as a “supergroup” (a ridiculous term that gets thrown around an awful lot these days). A Fragile King was actually born from Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) grieving the death of his father. According to a Spanish-language interview with, Mackintosh says, “It started to become very self-destructive so I decided to channel it into creating something. To pay respects to the man that drove us to our very first gigs because none of us could drive.” To hear more about the album from Mackintosh himself, check out a recent interview he did with The Age of Metal.

Returning to the sounds of Mackintosh’s youth, one listen of A Fragile King will roundhouse kick you back to the early Swedish death metal scene. The guitars on the opening track, “All Will Suffer,” rumble with a sound that resembles a slow-turning chainsaw gradually shredding your tympanic membrane. The tone is thunderous and is reminiscent of old-school Entombed. “Cathedrals of Dread” is a powerful statement against religion that stands as one of the album’s more uptempo tracks…and one of the few with a guitar solo. “Seeds” is a plodding, doom monster taken straight from the Book of Cathedral. The massive weight of this track is akin to being crushed in a slow-moving trash compactor. Although Mackintosh states that the entire album is a tribute to his father, this is one track in particular that stands out, especially with lyrics such as: “The blackest of days / Farewell my king / you must rest your head.”

As unfortunate as it is, pain and anguish often seem to be a strong impetus for creating powerful art. A Fragile King is undoubtedly the manifestation of the pain Greg Mackintosh experienced after losing his father. The album drips with grief and suffering as you are guided through the landscape of an injured soul. While Vallenfyre certainly isn’t breaking new ground on their debut full-length album, they certainly are creating a well-deserved buzz. Thankfully for fans, their website states that the band will tour in 2012.

Track Listing:
1. “All Will Suffer”
2. “Desecration” *
3. “Ravenous Whore”
4. “Cathedrals of Dread” *
5. “As the World Collapses”
6. “A Thousand Martyrs” *
7. “Seeds” *
8. “Humanity Wept”
9. “My Black Siberia”
10.”The Divine Have Fled”
11.”The Grim Irony” (bonus track)

* Editor’s Choice tracks

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