Vale’s raging debut album Burden Of Sight feels like a storm of fire, leaving anyone in its wake essentially burning alive from the inside out. The band have magnified devastating extreme metal brutality into a growing beast, and their new half a dozen tracks force observers to confront that beast eye-to-eye. The release imparts the sense embedded in its title that a central figure is desperate for some kind of relief from the misery and mayhem that they’re seeing unfold before their eyes, but there is no way to look away — the fiery beast is not just coming, but it’s here, and it’s angry.
While definitely clearly carefully constructed and even subtly melodic at times — it’s not really ever “just noise” — Burden Of Sight feels obviously raw enough to have a clear connection to real tangible desolation. The band are based in the significantly sized city of Oakland, California, where they’ve had an opportunity to be front and center for the continued fraying and even complete collapse of the standards modern society holds so dear, not that they were ever all that stable and long-lasting in the first place, at least comparatively speaking. The band’s new album perfectly encapsulates this sense of a monumental collapse of fabric supposedly holding us together; while some of the rich just get richer, more and more people end up reduced to their most basic instincts, struggling to even survive at times. Vale perform the music of their story, which is the real world’s story, in a tangible sense.
Their music blends death and black metal sensibilities in a way that elevates the themes associated with both styles. They’ve made the merciless onslaught of death metal and the real-world themes it represents into something huge. They are definitely not an atmospheric metal band, but they utilize atmosphere and a sense of epic grandiosity to their advantage all the same. A confidence and groove permeate their work, ensuring that it’s well-poised to stick. Musically, underneath and intertwined with its absolutely raging, boiling over exterior, Vale have got a wonderfully complex presentation on their new album Burden Of Sight, which proves never, ever compromising, not even for a moment.
Burden Of Sight drops May 24 via the great boundary-pushing label The Flenser. Listen to some below — the band shares members with Ulthar, Abstracter, and Void Omnia, other extreme metal bands you should check out.