Valgrind continues its ascent.
Created in Italy in 1996, the band released a few demos as well as an EP before slowing down. But since 2012, Massimiliano Elia (guitar/keyboards, Metal Detektor) and Daniele Lupidi (bass/vocals, Hafetul, Huronian, Voids of Vomit), joined by Gianmarco Agosti (drums, Deathfucker, Raw Power) and Umberto Poncina (guitars, Demiurgon, ex-Discordance) came back to the forefront of the scene, releasing in 2023 Millennium of Night Bliss, their fifth album.
Teshub is the first track to strike, creating first a heavy and mysterious atmosphere before unleashing its impressive Old School riffs, accompanied by raw vocal parts and sometimes frantic leads. We also have aggressiveness on Banished by Celestial Harmonies, the following composition, which leaves an important place to cutting leads and wild accelerations which create a contrast with the more majestic final before Millenium of Night Bliss, the eponymous track, returns to a raw and jerky sound. We’ll find a few touches of complexity in the abrasive leads as well as in this screaming solo before Tenebra Corona Mundi lets mystical keyboards and airy melodies allow us to breathe for a few moments. Vivid influences take over again, then Dark Winds of Avalon will let its heavy rhythmic speak. The band’s aggressiveness is very effective, coupling fast patterns with heavy and sometimes surprising elements, followed by Lament of the Black Penetants (Glory is the Sun of the Dead), a track which stays on this combination between aggressiveness and heaviness coupled with a very dark mix. Fans of the 90s’ bloody sound will be delighted, just like on Oracle of Death which gives its abrasive leads more freedom before the rhythmic comes to roll over us with jerky patterns. The short Fear From Beyond offers us some epic tones by allowing us to breathe under the ice-cold wind, then a voice announces the arrival of The Path to the Temple of Black Ash, the last track, which reveals a more melodic aspect than the others, while remaining anchored in this saturated Old School sound letting some hints of technicality lacerate us from time to time before dying out.
Valgrind defends the colors of the Old School Death Metal with a new as thick as effective album. With a mix worthy of the golden age of the style, Millenium of Night Bliss can only convince you.