VALLENFYRE NAMBUCCA, LON­DON

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Live Reviews - JONATHAN SELZER

In once sense at least, the strains of funeral doom echo­ing through the venue are ap­pro­pri­ate. This is Vallenfyre’s farewell show, the band set up in part to process the death of Par­adise Lost gui­tarist Gre­gor Mack­in­tosh’s fa­ther hang­ing up their well-worn boots af­ter eight years and three al­bums’ worth of pres­sure-cooked doom and d-beat laden bat­tery. Me­tal ‘su­per­groups’ have a ten­dency to in­dulge the most atavis­tic strands of their DNA, and if Vallenfyre are no ex­cep­tion, tonight is fi­nal tes­ta­ment to their abil­ity to sat­u­rate death me­tal with the kind of cav­ernous at­mos­phere only those gen­uinely rooted in the sub­genre’s raw, yet oth­er­worldly essence could hope to ac­cess. But tonight is a densely packed cel­e­bra­tion, too; ev­ery track – from the smoul­der­ing, soul-plough­ing Cathe­drals Of Dread to the tetanus-in­flict­ing pneu­matic chug of Kill Your Mas­ters – is cheered like eve-of-bat­tle ral­ly­ing cries, with Gre­gor’s recit­ing of “Valen­facts” be­tween songs of­fer­ing dry mo­ments of lev­ity. A clos­ing, Sisyphean tor­ment of Splin­ters breaks out into wild­fire leads and dis­si­pates into sounds of ce­les­tial as­cen­sion, but Vallenfyre’s im­print on the un­der­ground me­tal scene will re­ver­ber­ate long af­ter.

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