Vallenfyre is the latest metal supergroup that has members from Paradise Lost, At The Gates and My Dying Bride. It is difficult to review a supergroup album given the members but that is exactly what Century Media accomplished when they released the samples for two songs. It is a tad weird for a label to just release a clip and give no other information about a band.
A Fragile King is one of those time capsule albums for me. It takes you back to when Death Metal wasn't overproduced noise. This album has a fucking huge sound and every instrument is brutal.
This album reminds me of Obituary's Cause of Death if it were fast paced. Everything you want in a death metal album is here. But even though Vallenfyre play stuff that seems ordinary given the millions of death metal bands today, they stand out. With Vader's Welcome To The Morbid Reich, I would have thought 2011 had found its death metal album of the year but albums like A Fragile King may give it a run for its money. The band does what Slayer mastered in their 80s albums, play songs at almost the same tempo but make each one stand out.
"A Thousand Martyrs", "Seeds", "Desecration", and "The Divine Have Fled" are easily my favourites on this album. At this point I need to commend Erlandsson's drumming skills. He absolutely kills it on this album. "Humanity Wept" is the shortest song on the album and it has a nice punkish death metal feel that takes me back to Slayer's "Undisputed Attitude". "My Black Siberia" is the closest this album gets to a melodic song and it has a nice guitar solo as well. The album closer "The Grim Irony" definitely is Obituary influenced. I honestly don't care much for this song overall but the short guitar solos make an otherwise boring song listenable.
The band has succeeded in creating a cohesive death metal album that will be remembered hopefully for its own great songs instead of its supergroup tag.
1. All Will Suffer
3. Ravenous Whore
4. Cathedrals Of Dread
5. As The World Collapses
6. A Thousand Martyrs
8. Humanity Wept
9. My Black Siberia
10. The Divine Have Fled
11. The Grim Irony