New vocalist, new guitarist and new logo. All upgrades.

Denver’s Vale of Pnath turned in their newest album in almost five years and it is certainly time to get pnasty with II.

In the lead up to this new album they released two tracks, ”Blacker Than” and  “Klendathu,” named after the Arachnid planet from “Starship Troopers.”  That track alone told me a change had actually occurred. New vocalist Reece Deter is probably better suited for this than the last,
Ken Sarafin, but the overall sound on “Klendathu” signaled a more tight and polished album compared to 2011’s The Prodigal Empire. Some could compare their sound to The Black Dahlia Murder, though I thought of Vale of Pnath as less melodic and more technical.

II cements that comparison to me.

Vale of Pnath isn’t a TBDM rip-off, that’s not where I was going with this, but II shows they are more similar to them than they aren’t. The melodic element is now a more prominent part of this release. “Klendathu” is a ripper of a track, the piano intro giving way to the guitars, bass and drums blowing in.

Now that the full album is online, I can safely say the rest of it is just death metal tastiness. Galloping guitars, fingers furiously flying over their cords, drums blasting and roared vocals is just what I wanted.  Vale of Pnath has delivered a solid melodic death metal album. The technical sound they have is still there, but it’s been spiced up with a more melodic structure.

This is what ultimately sets them apart from TBDM if we’re still trying to draw comparisons. TBDM isn’t closing out an album with a track like “Unburied.” Put that shit on and tell me I’m wrong. Vale has given us a true shredder that should sure as shit be on year end lists.

My favorite track is a tossup between “A Nightmare Phantasm” and “Unburied.” I’ll give the edge to the tighter, more aggressive “Phantasm” simply because it’s half the length of “Unburied.”

This is a fucking awesome album from Vale of Pnath and it’s available now from Willowtip. They’ll also be playing the Marquis Theater on June 25.

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