In the last decade or so, the state of Colorado has gifted the world with uncommonly exceptional, heavy bands. The Denver based act, Vale of Pnath is one of these young groups that have brought a fantastically particular Death Metal sound to the scene. With two full-length albums under their belt, the band is going back to the EP format for their newest release, Accursed (Willowtip Records). It’s been three years since their last record and this genre-dodging ensemble is finally bringing more of their innovative work to light.
The One minute intro on this extended play sets a mirthless mood by its eerie instrumentation that properly preps for the devilishly heavy songs ahead. VoP hits hard with the second track, ‘The Darkest Gate’. With venomous vocals from Reece Deeter and the dynamic drum work from Michael Blume, this blossoming band quickly proves why they’re worth your attention. The horror-themed lyrics set a beautifully bizarre tone to the approximately 25-minute EP. The range of emotions on each track proves their technical proficiency and intrigue. There’s an extreme and urgent presence in their sound. Guitarists Harrison Patuto and Vance Valenzuela lead the band in this anxious force and fierceness. The melody and focus in their tones intensify each track. The agility and security in their blackened sound is a refreshing layer to their already extreme cadence. They’re slower, more sensitive sections that shine at moments throughout the EP could remind you of the legends, Opeth. Their speedier side is reminiscent of the greats like Psycroptic and Gorguts.
On the title track, ‘Accursed’ and the last number, ‘Specter of Bone’ you can hear how the bottom end provided by bass player Andy Torres really anchors the band’s chaos and velocity. There’s a weightiness to their hauntingly dark tones and passionate pace. Their cruel vibrato becomes contagious and really engages the listener. Reese’s vocals fills each song with a precise, menacing scream. Along with the fluidity and intentionality in the guitar work make these guys stand out and impress. There is a more meaningful and mature writing style heard on this EP than their last release, ll (Willowtip Records). Listening to how this band is growing is exciting to experience. The distinctive and elegant harshness of VoP could place them at the helm of Technical, Progressive Death Metal next.
7 / 10