If you buy one death metal album this year, you should highly consider Vallenfyre‘s A Fragile King. This album, from beginning to end is nothing but the best in breaks, wailing riffage and brutal, spine tingling vocals. I haven’t been such a fanboy about a death doom act since Hooded Menace! But what makes this music so moving? It’s the story behind it. Vocalist and guitarist Gregor Mackintosh’s father died from cancer and A Fragile King was born from the grief and torment. As you can imagine, A Fragile King is a journey through pain and despair. Gregor (how metal of a name is that?) almost intentionally makes his vocals clear to share with us his pain. This album packs a fucking serious punch. He walks us through this tormented landscape with a razor blade collar, yanking if we begin to fall behind.
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Death doom metal isn’t easy to perfect but Vallenfyre has done a damn good job at doing so. “All Will Suffer”, “Desecration” and “Ravenous Whore” all have a different kind of tinge to them. And if that’s not enough, “Cathedrals of Dread” steps it up another notch. Holy fuck, what a beast!!!!! Claws, Coffins and the almighty ‘Menace need to be weary of this sleeping beast. Fucking tear the walls down. “I see endless destruction… But I don’t think I can take this anymore…” AHHHHHHHHH CIRCLE PIT MOTHERFUCKERS. Can you tell I’m stoked here? And we’re only a few cuts into the massacre. “As The World Collapses” builds up and then collides into a barrage of blast beats and beastly breaks. Nothing can save your soul, not even “A Thousand Martyrs”, which begins with a painful “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWR” fucking shit man, smash his fucking skull! I’m sitting here, white knuckling every key I hit to type this out.
A Fragile King is a fucking beast. “Seeds” is slow and demented, “Humanity Wept” is all crusty and dis-beat, “My Black Siberia” is doomy and gloomy with a killer 2-step stomp, open a can of decapitation for “The Divine Have Fled” and end the life with the introspective “The Grim Irony.” Vallenfyre just fucked your mom dude. A Fragile King is not to be missed. Buy it on CD, buy it on vinyl. See them live and kick in some fucking heads!