The Pitch: More high octane blackened death metal fuel in the form of Colorado's Vale of Pnath via Willowtip. FFO: The Black Dahlia Murder, Alterbeast, The Zenith Passage
What I Like: This is being advertised as an EP, but at just under 30 minutes it feels like the perfect length to me. Get in, get out, leave the maximum wake of destruction. In that way, Accursed is like a precision military raid. Furthermore, the tracks only get better the deeper we dive into this beast. The title track in particular is an absolute barn-burner. It's probably my favorite one on the album, though the piano-infused closer "Spectre of Bone" is a close second. If you're not yet familiar with Vale Of Pnath's sound, picture a Venn diagram made up of three overlapping circles: tech death, melodeath, and blackened death. The Black Dahlia Murder sits pretty comfortably right in the middle of this chart, but if you drag them out a bit further along the axis between the tech death and black metal regions, you more or less end up with Vale of Pnath. It's those same catchy, high energy melodeath hooks, but with a little more technicality a la projects like The Zenith Passage and very black metal sounding vocals. The sparing use of atmospheric synths are a nice touch as well on tracks like "The Darkest Gate." Getting some mild Dimmu Borgir vibes.
Critiques: Especially in the first half, despite the undeniable quality, these compositions do feel a bit generic. I could name dozens of other albums that more or less deliver the exact same thing. This probably won't bother the average listener, but if you're a death metal junkie devouring 5-10 albums a week, you're gonna notice.
The Verdict: Tight as a drum. Vale Of Pnath could probably do a little more in terms of offering a little more originality to the genre, but ultimately the formula doesn't get much better than Accursed. An EP well worth buying if you ask me.
Flight's Fav's: Accursed, Obsidian Realm, Spectre Of Bone
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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