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Valence: Sleepwalker

Valence are a four piece instrumental progressive rock act from New York comprised of Michael Buonanno (guitar), Geoffrey Schaefer (guitar), Ian Morris (bass), and Christopher Romano (drums). Sleepwalker is their debut album, released in mid-2012, and features an eight part 34 minute long epic instrumental composition that is the fruit of the bands year long labor to come up with a powerful opening statement to progressive rock & metal fans worldwide. Well, all I can say was their hard work paid off, as Sleepwalker is certainly impressive. We get a lot of instrumental albums to review here at Sea of Tranquility, crossing the barriers of prog, metal, fusion, world, jam, and electronic, so sometimes it's hard to differentiate one from the next, but Valence not only have the musical chops, but there are also some catchy melodies here which make for a pleasing listen. You can surely hear the influence of Dream Theater on this band, especially on the sizzling "The Depths" which features some fantastic guitar interplay from Buonanno & Schaefer, but the band don't go all out progressive metal all the time, instead they also inject some atmospheric prog and tasty jazz-fusion into their sound which makes for a well rounded listening experience. There's an intelligent nature to some of these compositions ("...Burned to Desert" and "Winds of Zephyr" come to mind) that suggests that Valence have probably only scratched the surface here as to what they are fully capable of. At 34 minutes, Sleepwalker is a tad on the short side, but then again, would a 60 minute CD of all instrumental music have been too much? I can also envision some of these tracks accompanied by vocals, so it will be interesting to see if the band chooses to stick with their instrumental vision or dive into vocal pieces on later releases. Either way, this is solid stuff from a band I'm sure we'll be hearing more of in the future.

Track Listing
1) Sleepwalker
2) The Depths
3) To Dust, Across Dimensions
4) Tempest Tides...
5) ...Burned to Desert
6) Reborn From Ashes
7) Winds of Zephyr
8) Lucid Dream

Added: January 31st 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1533
Language: english

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