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Vale of Pnath “Between The Worlds of Life and Death” Album Review by Jorge Pozo

Vale of Pnath band

In the saturated spaces of metal, it’s always an event when a band Vale of Pnath decides to grace the scene with a new release. After a five-year hiatus, their latest album Between The Worlds of Life and Death, presents a seismic shift in their sonic landscape, melding black metal’s darkness with the technical precision of death metal. This album doesn’t just aim to display their evolution but to redefine genre boundaries entirely.

From the outset with The Forgotten Path, a listener is drawn into an orchestration of complexity and aggression. The track serves not just as an intro but as an overture for the auditory assault to follow. Silent Prayers and Soul Offering weave a dense tapestry of riffs and blast beats, showcasing Gabe Seeber’s impressive drumming prowess—a consistent driving force throughout the album.

However, with Shadow, the band diversifies their attack, introducing a blend of pace and ferocity. Here, the guest solo by Donny Burbage and Matthew Brown elevates the track into a nuanced exploration of their thematic darkness. This moment of experimentation is a double-edged sword; the track provides variety but at times feels disjointed from the album’s core aggression.

Uncertain Tomorrow and Beneath Ashen Skies further the album’s narrative, with Christian Muenzner’s guest solo in the former adding a layer of melodicism to the relentless savagery. Yet, the ambition to blend so many elements from track to track occasionally leads to a muddied soundscape, where the clarity of individual contributions, particularly the bass lines by Ken Scorceron, could have been more pronounced.

No Return, No Regret marks a high point in the album’s narrative arc, combining thematic resolve with technical prowess. In contrast, Echoes of the Past, an interlude, offers a respite—a necessary breather before the final onslaught of Burning Light, where staccato rhythms create a sonic visualization of a predator in the hunt, a fitting end to a journey through shadowed lands.

The production, led by Ken Scorceron, is commendable for capturing the band’s intensity and the intricate layers of their sound. However, the album struggles at times with its own ambition, where the layering of so many elements detracts rather than adds to the overall experience.

Between The Worlds of Life and Death is less an album and more an expedition; it demands attention and immersion. Vale of Pnath have crafted a work that’s both a tribute to their roots and a bold step into new territories. While not without its flaws—occasionally overwhelming complexity and a few disjointed moments—the album stands as a significant marker in their discography.

Jorge’s Rating: 7.5/10

Preorder: https://valeofpnath.bandcamp.com/album/between-the-worlds-of-life-and-death

Vale of Pnath anbum

Track Listing:

  1. The Forgotten Path (Intro)
  2. Silent Prayers
  3. Soul Offering
  4. Shadow
  5. Uncertain Tomorrow
  6. Beneath Ashen Skies
  7. No Return, No Regret
  8. Echoes Of The Past (Interlude)
  9. Burning Light

Line-up:
Ken Scorceron – Vocals / Guitar
Vance Valenzuela – Guitar
Gabe Seeber – Drums
Austin Rolla – Bass

Guest Appearances:
Michael Wilson – Guest solo in “No Return, No Regret.”
Donny Burbage (Cradle of Filth, Aether Realm) – Guest solo (#2) in “Shadow” and in “Soul Offering.”
Miles Dimitri Baker (Interloper) – Guest solo in “Beneath Ashen Skies.”
Matthew Brown (Demon King) – Guest solo (#1) in “Shadow.”
Christian Muenzner (Necrophagist, Obscura, Alkaloid) – Guest Solo in “Uncertain Tomorrow.”

Album Credits:
Bass on all tracks performed by Ken Scorceron.
“The Forgotten Path” & “Echoes of the Past” composed by by Wayne Ingram (Wilderun).
Cello performed by Christopher Edward Brown,
Drum tracking By Robert Velazquez Swanson / Mayhemness Recording Studio.
All music composed by Vance Valenzuela, Ken Sarafin and Ken Scorceron.
Produced by Ken Scorceron.
Mixed and Mastered by Ken Scorceron.
Additional editing: Samuel Bassani, Tom Connolly.
Album Cover: Zac Shiffer

Vale of Pnath will hit the road in May with co-headliners Abigail Williams and special guests Summoning The Lich for a U.S. tour! Tickets are available at linktr.ee/valeofpnath.

5/10 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
5/11 Birmingham, AL @ LCY
5/13 Austin, TX @ Come and Take it Live
5/14 Houston, TX @ Secret Group
5/15 Fort Worth, TX @ Haltom Theater
5/17 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep*
5/18 Denver, CO @ The Marquis Theater*
5/20 Phoenix, AZ @ The Underground*
5/21 Las Vegas, NV @ The Usual Place*
5/22 San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick*
5/23 San Luis Obispo, CA @ Humdinger Brewing*
5/24 Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction*
5/25 San Fransisco, CA @ Neck of the Woods*
5/26 Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s*
*Dates with Summoning the Lich

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