New York's Valence are back with the follow-up to to their debut Sleepwalker, the 3-song EP titled Laser Baron. Fusing prog rock, progressive metal, jazz-fusion, as well as some of the jam band scene, the four piece of Michael Buonanno (Guitar), Geoffrey Schaefer (Guitar), Chris Romano (Drums), and Ian Morris (Bass) weave plenty of catchy melodies and challenging musical passages throughout these three tracks. The title cut is the most melodic of the three, but still shows off their instrumental might, and both "Wormhole" and "The Reckoning" take matters into darker and heavier territory, the latter containing some pretty heavy riffs and jagged rhythms that bring to mind acts such as Dream Theater, Opeth, and Megadeth, with Buonanno & Schaefer really delivering some tasty guitar work. If you love some of the acrobatic, complex, and heavy material of current acts like Scale the Summit, Between the Buried & Me, and Animals as Leaders, this is a band you need to check out. With a very solid (but brief) debut and now this excellent EP under their belt, I'm ready for a real epic statement from this band that will show the world that they mean business in a big way. If you don't have Valence on your radar yet, you need to do so.
1) Laser Baron
3) The Reckoning