Last week, one of the many, many press releases that was emailed over to us here at Thrash Hits was an announcement from Century Media that they’d signed a death metal band called Vallenfyre. “So far, so what?”, right? We clicked on the link they gave us to the band’s website, cast a cursory glance at the band’s moody’n'shadowy promo pic, before nodding in appreciation at Vallenfyre’s dirty, crusty rumble. And then we moved on to the next of the 2463 unread emails currently filling up our inbox.
Then last night, Century Media – who’d clearly been bouncing up and down for the last week, biting down on their knuckles, silently humming “I know something you don’t know!” – blurted out the truth they’d been sitting on since their first announcement: “HEY GUYS, IT’S REALLY A SUPERGROUP MADE UP OF GUYS FROM PARADISE LOST, AT THE GATES, AND MY DYING BRIDE? HOW’D YOU LIKE THEM NOW, HUH?”
The band line-up consists of Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) on vocals and lead guitar, Hamish Glencross (My Dying Bride) on rhythm and lead guitars, Scoot (Doom, Extinction of Mankind) on bass, Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, Paradise Lost) on drums, and “Mully” (no, we don’t know what band he’s in) on rhythm guitars. Go on, look at them in the “new” promo photo down below. It’s still very moody, but it’s noticeably less shadowy:
As far as weird marketing techniques go, not revealing anything about a band other than the fact you’ve signed them, to the reveal of the band members a few days later does seem a pretty bizarre one. If the plan was to build a buzz surrounding the identities of the various band members, a la Ghost, then surely it would’ve been more prudent to let the “mystery” stew a bit first? Then again, given that I’m writing this here blog post about Vallenfyre right now, I guess the strategy worked. Hey, we’re talking about Vallenfyre! Everyone give yourselves a big clap on the back.
Century Media’s follow-up press release also had Greg Mackintosh explaining the unfortunate circumstances that led him to forming a new side-project:
“In the late summer of 2009, my father John Mackintosh was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Later in the Autumn as his treatment progressed, Paradise Lost embarked on the their European tour to support the latest album [Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us]. A week into this, I received a call from my mother telling me that the doctors had found cancer in his lungs and it was terminal. He only had weeks to live. I made the decision to leave the tour leaving my very able guitar tech Milly [not be confused with Vallenfyre’s Mully] to take my place. I went and stayed with my parents for the next few weeks. After a very sad and painful time he passed away on the 2nd December early in the morning. Over the next few weeks I experienced all the famous stages of grief. It started to become very self destructive so I decided to channel it into creating something. To pay respects to the man that drove us to our very first gigs because none of us could drive. The only Dad I knew that listened to Bolt Thrower’s Peel Sessions on the radio. The guy who gave me my first chord book. I decided that I was going to go right back to the beginning. To my roots in Death, Crust and Doom. It all started very Angst ridden. This wasn’t originally meant for anyone else to hear. It was a release. After recording some material I realized that I was actually enjoying doing this but I wanted friends involved so it could actually become real fun.”
So why the secrecy? According to Century Media, they “didn’t announce all the details in the first news piece because we wanted you to judge the songs on their own merit and not be biased either way”. Well, given that plenty of metal fans sport ridiculous audio-boners for anything sounding even remotely like Entombed, I think it’s fair to say Vallenfyre won’t struggle to find an audience. Did Century Media really think that finding out who was behind the band might’ve compromised this? Given MacKintosh’s reasons for starting the project, we doubt anyone would’ve deemed it bandwagon-hopping had they know from the off who was behind it.
Anyway, the only music that’s surfaced from this side-project/supergroup/what-have-you is on their website, but we’ve embedded it here to save you precious seconds by not having to go elsewhere to hear it. You want to hear it, don’t you? That’s why you clicked on this blog post in the first place.
Vallenfyre’s Desecration/Iconoclast EP is available now as a limited edition 7″, of which details of how to buy can be found over on the band’s official website. If vinyl doesn’t float your boat, then you’ll welcome the news that the band’s forthcoming full-length debut album, A Fragile King, is already recorded and is scheduled for release in “late October”.