08 Nov 2019 - Thorsten
Sludge-Post-Metal | Black Lion Records | Release date: 08 Nov 2019
Over the years, many post-metal bands have seen the light of day, nowadays more or less every country has its heroes within the genre. Year of no Light from France, The Ocean from Germany, Postvorta from Italy and so on, the list is long. Portugal’s Wells Valley, who just released a new album on Black Lion Records, is another such example.
The new record Reconcile the Antimony displays the necessary qualities of a regular sludge-/post-metal-record, some down-tuned riffs charged with distortion to make the walls of Jericho shake afraid of them, some slow cymbal-driven drumming laden with a regular eruption and vocals to blast away any doubt of pop similarities due to its raspy character.
A lot of listeners will say that the band is in no way adding something new to a genre whose zenith lies a few years in the past. One will find it hard to deny that fact, indeed Wells Valley’s unique qualities are in only a few moments audible enough to pinpoint why it is a clearly above-average album within an over-established genre with fans well-fed with lots of new releases this year – Cult of Luna, Downfall of Gaia, Inter Arma. An example is the way that the guitar supports vocalist Filipe in the doomy opening track “Antient” or the short second vocal line roughly four minutes in or the nearly inaudible short spoken word part in the middle of the same song. Yes, all these examples are taken from one track only – to clarify the following: Welly Valley make headphone post-metal.
A few years ago, lots of people were talking about post-metal as “thinking man’s metal” - Wells Valley totally support that with a lot of their song titles referring to Ancient Greek philosophical ideas: “Antimony” (used in the album title) is the incompatibility of two opposites according to Greek philosophy, “Pleroma” takes its name from the Greek word for a shimmering sea of light, “Henosis” is the word for “one-ness” or “unity” and “Hypostasis” is nothing less than the basis or foundation. Add a song title like “Forty Days” with a possible reference to Pythagoras to it and one might see that there is definitely more to this record than your standard post-metal riffs and songwriting concepts, it tries to make a broken entity whole again – reconcile the two incompatibles, likely man and his natural environment.
Wells Valley’s Reconcile the Antimony is built on a solid foundation of post-metal ideas but erects a house full of shimmering tiny details and wholesome philosophy so that it definitely transcends your average sludge record.