ALBUM REVIEW: My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion

Hot on the heels of ex-bandmate Hamish Glencross’s latest effort with new band Godthrymm comes The Ghost Of Orion (Nuclear Blast), the fourteenth full-length from Yorkshire Gothic Doom royalty My Dying Bride. This year celebrating 30 years as an entity, any pressure the band may have felt is counteracted by an expectedly assured, emotionally raw performance that comes with such craftsmanship and experience.Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Godthrymm – Reflections

As a proud Lancastrian all my life, it pains me to acknowledge the occasional superiority of bitter neighbours Yorkshire. One such area of supremacy is within the realm of Doom Metal: Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride have wielded the White Rose over some of the genre’s most memorable, emotional moments of the last thirty years and the latter’s erstwhile guitarist Hamish Glencross is determined to carry on that sound with his latest outfit Godthrymm. Debut album Reflections (Profound Lore Records) oozes the drama, power, and tragedy of his former band.Continue reading

Vallenfyre – Fear Those Who Fear Him

You ever hear that old adage about experience? The one that smug superiors like to toss around to mask their insecurities. There’s no substitute for experience, I believe it goes. Yeah, well Vallenfyre totally proved that right on their third full-length effort, Fear Those Who Fear Him (Century Media).Continue reading

Vallenfyre – Splinters


Born out of frustration and tragedy, Vallenfyre’s A Fragile King debut saw Gregor Macintosh stepping up to the mic to vent his anger and sorrow he experienced following his father’s death from cancer two years prior. The result was an album of full on brutal death metal with touches of crust and the air of desperation which made day job Paradise Lost’s early work so vital. Following several triumphant appearances it would appear that perhaps the members commitments to their other acts would mean shelving this gnarled beast but clearly Vallenfyre has taken on a life all its own!

Simply put Splinters (Century Media) is a banger. The grime and raw aggression of the debut is all present and correct but greater inspection of their influences reveals the band are as adept at deathly doom as they are at vicious crusty proto-metal. Complete with a production job from Converge axeman and über-producer Kurt Ballou whose subtle contributions help capture a suitably sombre mood allowing the Yorkshire mob to exercise their considerable muscle.

Quite why Macintosh has chosen to conceal his corrosive roar until their 2011 debut is unclear but his savage vocal emissions are matched perfectly by the dense riffs and soaring melodic sections championed by My Dying Bride guitarist Hamish Glencross who brings with him, his considerable talent for twisted minor harmonies.

Pulverising slabs of bitterness such as ‘Thirst For Extinction’ and lead number ‘Scabs’ are equally matched in the misery stakes by ‘Bereft’ and ‘Aghast’ which should appeal greatly to fans of their creators other projects. The two-minute assault of ‘Instinct Slaughter’ is pure hatred distilled into music giving fans of acts like Doom and Extreme Noise Terror a soundtrack to crack skulls to. The deliciously filthy guitar tones and aberrant nastiness never lets up throughout the eleven tracks which hold ‘Splinters’ together. Forget over indulgent tech-death posturing, this is music played from the gut, pure and desensitized filthy and with utter contempt for anything other than being genuine and authentic.

Sadistic and aggressive with endless moments of bleak reflection Splinters is a leviathan unleashed upon unsuspecting listeners and a release surely destined to grace many year end lists.




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Ross Baker