Gregor Macintosh must be a very busy man. As Paradise Lost just recently released a new album and is on tour later this year, he also managed to release a new album with Vallenfyre. And also a short tour was scheduled in the early autumn. The Dutch dates coincided with the tour of Memoriam, so I couldn’t go to their nearest gig in Hilversum which was at the same day. In stead I had to travel a bit further to see them in Helmond. Anyway, combining those tours may have been a very good option, particularly to draw in some bigger crowds for both.
Anyway, the opening band was the local Graceless. I had seen them a while back and they failed to impress me much then. The death metal they make lacks any aggression and power, is way too simple and slow. In particular the drums are too slow and minimalistic. The lead guitars are the only thing that are actually worthwhile, but leads are a bit scarce too.
The support act on the tour is Implore. A band based in German, but apparently has members from all over the place,including Italy and Argentina. Musically it is mostly grindcore with some mixed in black and death metal, and even a doomy part here and there. It sounds quite chaotic, but in a controlled manner. I something I generally like a lot. But enjoyable for a gig. Interestingly, visually the artwork of them look rather similar to that of Vallenfyre, seeing it side-by-side on the merch booth.
Then at last Vallenfyre came on stage. Greg has exchanged his dreads for a mohawk and his whole look is more punk than metal. They started out with a few songs of the new album. Musically very solid, especially the drummer (who now is also in Paradise Lost) sounded very good. Hamish lead guitar work is also quite interesting. Musically they borrow heavily from classic bands like Celtic Frost, early Napalm Death, but somehow it all sounds very fresh and original. The new songs come across live very well indeed. Greg filled the gaps between the songs with black humour and interactions with the audience. The set consisted mostly of the more aggressive songs, but the slower songs are the most interesting once. A song like Bereft would have been awesome. Never the less all in all a very good gig.