Valor – ‘Arrogance The Fall’ (Pitch Black Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Phil Cooper   
Monday, 19 June 2017 04:52

Valor artworkGreek power metal six piece Valor return with their third album, ‘Arrogance The Fall’. The band were formed in 2002 and have been turning out their brand of European power metal ever since. This new offering is more on the aggressive metal side when compared with their previous long player, ‘The Yonder Answer’; however it should see the full line-up (who have been together unchanged since 2008) firing on all cylinders.

 

The album opener is an instrumental power metal tour de force. ‘Uprising’ comprises all the key components of what you would expect with power metal; big galloping guitar riffs courtesy of the dual attack of Spyros Soldatos and Vassillis Kourkoutas that follow a mix of Iron Maiden and Drangonforce. Added to that there’s the blast beats of Thodoris Andritsos and whilst he’s clearly capable of drumstick trickery he locks into the groove with Chris Remoundos on bass. The track explores all the various aspects of playing power metal, however it doesn’t get too lost with technical overload as there is a steady yet catchy chord progression provided by the guitars that offers to keep the track grounded.

 

Moving onto ‘Arrogant Fall’ and the obvious genre defining playing is all accounted for. With this track, the vocals of Vaggelis Krouskas come to the fore. I must admit I was surprised when it wasn’t an over the octave register operatic style, as is often the case with many bands of this genre. Krouskas style is much more toned down and has more in common with NWOBHM, specifically Biff Byfford. That’s not to say the vocals are without punch, they sit clearly above the mix cutting right through the explosive instrumentation and providing an excellent addition to the overall sound.

 

‘Flying Away’ treats the listener to an expertly executed dual guitar solo from Soldatos and Kourkoutas who each duke it out to claim top spot.

 

With other bands this sort of thing can turn into a technical contest that detracts from the song and becomes a bit of bore, however, by keeping it light on the widdle and tight on time it provides an excellent soaring climax to the track and keeps the music sonically interesting.   ‘The Crown of Evermore’ (it doesn’t get more power metal than a title like that!), opens with a slick piano line from Thanasis Lois who up to this point has spent a fair amount of time in the background bolstering the texture with synth pads. Here we get to hear some technical piano licks before the full band kicks in for what would surely be considered an epic on the album. Big drums, gut punchy lines that even have a moment in the lime light as the band backs off to let Remoundos take the fore. These elements coupled with the by now established vocals and guitar styles lend a mix that certainly make this a standout track.

 

 

If there’s criticism to be found it’s that there is not a great deal of sonic variation within the ten tracks of ‘Arrogance The Fall’. There are times when the album falls into areas where the sound gets a bit repetitive. The second half of the album follows a very similar formula to that of the first and, whilst it is still very well executed by a group of very talented musicians, it could be argued that a break from the ‘power metal by numbers’ style would be welcome. With that minor criticism aside, this is a very catchy and likeable album. Each of the tracks are well crafted and performed to a great standard. I would be tempted to say that it’s both an excellent introduction to the genre as well as being a valuable addition to any fans collection.

 

‘Arrogance The Fall’ is out now.

 

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