Valermada - Fear, Regrets and Mourning
(S/T – 2018)
Here come Finland with another. Four-piece prog outfit Valermada's debut album is a difficult one to drive straight into through a wide open door and takes until 2nd track 'Becoming Me (Incomplete)' and it's Machine Head meets Deftones mangler of an opening riff to continue forward than reverse your steps out again.
Nasty hard twin guitar chugging and an update middle eight section set the anticipation needle flying for the stomping grunge- like ferociousness of 'Fairy Tales' with its haunting choral vocal creen from leader Olavi Santala. Equally or almost as instant are 'Happier' with Olavi proving his extreme metal abilities on top, plus the nostalgic thrash assault of 'The Law' with a luscious old school progressive structure rolling over into a relaxed moment of seventies prog quietness before then striking back with the aforementioned element.
'Dear Desperation' meanwhile hides behind a twangy acoustic curtain for over a minute before moving in sluggish and angry and pounding it's way around the room in a rather Stone Temple Pilots like mood. Distressed, disturbed emotion that almost disguises its intentions as a prog record almost looks to have 'Fear Regrets and Mourning' miss its intended market first time out but the miry glide of 'Sun' is still quite a turn around for the near-doubters.
Something to try here.
By Dave Attrill
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: (A crazy mix of) Porcupine Tree, Sepultura & Nirvana.