“Fear Those Who Fear Him”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Vallenfyre are devolving, becoming more primitive and raw with each new release. With “Fear Those Who Fear Him” (strange, cryptic title), they have to be getting pretty close to the bottom rung of death metal’s progression ladder. The band themselves acknowledge this descent and aren’t troubled in the least. Primitive is what works best for them.

Their last record “Splinters” was a classic of brutish and squalid death, with many nods to the early Swedish maniacs and British grind architects. This new album is all that and more. The guitar sound is a raw vibrating sonic chainsaw that digs deep into your guts and Gregor Mackintosh gets to unleash the gruesome growls he keeps a leash on while singing for Paradise Lost.  Fast and crusty cuts like “Dead World Breathes”, “Temple of Rats”  and “Nihilist” (surely a nod to the progenitors of the Swedish sound) nestle right next to agonizing, crawling doom epics such as “An Apathetic Grave” and “Cursed From the Womb”. This last cut is particularly grueling and features a kind of high pitched scraping guitar squeal that I haven’t heard from any other band. During all of this, expect no tricky time signatures or attempt to play anything but the most brute force death metal.

Along with labelmates Asphyx, Vallenfyre is simply one of the heaviest bands in the world. Also like Asphyx, the limitations of that sound are becoming evident. But if you want festering death metal, look no further.