Vale Of Pnath - The Prodigal Empire

Vale Of Pnath's debut is an excellent roller coaster ride of Technical Death Metal. Always intense but never boring, listeners will experience a blend of Brutal Death Metal with a mix of melodies and technical skill weaved in so it doesn't just feel like the same chugs, growls, or beats on autopilot all the time. Little surprises like the acoustic moments on "Mental Crucifixion" or the semi-vocoder influence on "Brain Butchers" separates Vale from the more typical gore themed Death Metal bands like Cannibal Corpse or Brain Drill. One could say this band touches in levels of technical skill similar to that of Order Of The Ennead, one of the top Technical Death Metal bands of the recent times. Some tracks feature no surprises and just decent guitar rhythms that show off plenty of skill in their own way such as on "The Time Of Reckoning" will appeal to those who just prefer straightfoward Death Metal without the eccentric or avant-garde touches.

Topped with excellent production everything is crystal clear here so no 'fuzz' gets in the way, which is very important for Technical Death Metal. While there may be a lack of ambience or atmosphere, the heaps of melody mixed into the music such as on "Sightless" make up for this missing element. The vocals have the excellent blend of both deep growls like that of Grave and the shrieks and snarls of Dying Fetus, so nobody gets annoyed with the tone. Overall, this is an excellent album that will separate the generic from the truly hard working and talented, and Vale Of Pnath is one of the few that really knows how to demonstrate strong musicianship. While the lyrics and themes may be a bit weary on those who are used to Death Metal, the listening experience is a whole new world to jump into.

  1. Legacy Of Loss
  2. Mental Crucifixion
  3. Brain Butchers
  4. The Prodigal Empire
  5. Borne Extinction
  6. Poisoned By Prosperity
  7. Time Of Reckoning
  8. Sightless
  9. Cerulean Eclipse