– The Valley of Dying StarsGenre:
Progressive Thrash MetalRelease Date:
April 9th 2013Label:
Masters of Metal Productions
Posted by adg211288
The Valley of Dying Stars is the debut full-length album by US thrash metal act Sedulity. It was released in 2013 as a name your price download. Sedulity previously released an EP, Integral Spirits, in 2009 but has had some quite significant line-up changes between the two releases, with perhaps the most notable differences is that there is a keyboardist on The Valley of Dying Stars, and the drums are now programmed. While I find that unfortunate I’m aware that programmed drums are not planned to be a permanent fixture of Sedulity’s music. Sedulity is fronted by Tony C. (Anthony Cordisco) who is fast becoming one of metal most prolific musicians with The Valley of Dying Suns following hot on the heels of an instrumental solo album released in January. He also released King of Rome with power metal act Judicator (whose vocalist John Yelland guests on this album) and Of Chaos and the Void with death metal act Vermiform in 2012. He’s not done with 2013 yet though and a second release from Judicator and a debut full length with power-thrash act Project: Roenwolfe are both forthcoming at the time of writing.
The Valley of Dying Stars is best described as a progressive thrash metal album, although there are also elements of death metal to be found here to a lesser extent, mostly in the death-thrash vein but there are also some parts that remind me of the band Death in their latter days. While much of what Sedulity does fits the well known thrash metal mould right down to Tony C’s aggressive vocal style, the band take the music much further, often moving into more melodic territory than thrash is really known for, and an important thing to note about the music is that they included keyboards a lot more than a typical thrash metal band would do as well. This gives their music more diversity while never allowing the aggression of thrash metal to be sacrificed. While real drums would be nice the use of a drum machine doesn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the music, which is kept interesting and high quality throughout the ten track album. I especially like that the band is able to create progressive atmospheric passages and make them work so completely with the full on thrash riffs and vocals.
As far as picking highlights goes this one is actually a tough call because I find the quality level to be so high that all the tracks have their moments. I think I have to single A Face on the Water out first of all though. Admittedly that has something to do with the lyrics being based on The Dark Tower by Stephen King and I’ve always been a sucker for such songs (and it’s a refreshing change of pace from the amount of power metal songs inspired by the subject), but the song does also have a really good infectious hook to it during the chorus, the sort of thing a song needs for me to keep playing it as a standalone piece rather than a part of the album. Relative Dimensions also sets very good early impressions for the album. One minute Sedulity is doing everything you’d expect a thrash band to do, then suddenly they have proggy keyboard soloing going on. Also they have the epic 8:31 minute Seven Cities, based on the work of fantasy author Steven Erikson, which features clean melodic vocals from John Yelland.
There isn’t a song here that falls below an exceptional standard for me though. Sedulity have interesting, without being unnecessarily showy, musicianship, as well as the aggression to keep the headbangers happy. A really great achievement in my view and an exceptional grade rating is deserved.
Get the album free or donate at:Bandcamp