Venetian folk metallers Vallorch have just released their first full-length work. The band was formed in the end of 2010 by Marco, Massimo and Matteo with the ambition to marry traditional folk music and death metal. Soon enough 4 more members joined in, so they completed their line-up as a seven-piece band. On May 2012 they self released the 5-track EP “Stories of North” and signed to Moonlight Records in order to release their debut album “Neverfade” on January 2013.
Vallorch open their album, after a short intro, with the impressive “Voices of North” (also on the EP), my personal favorite of the album and for sure one the best folk metal tunes I’ve listened too recently! And I have listened to many of them… They are not the typical folk death metal band and they managed too early to get a very personal sound. I think there are 2 basic reasons that make their sound distinctive. The first one is the lead female vocals by Sara Tacchetto. Her singing maybe needs a little “technical” improvement, but she has a very characteristic voice, with a somehow “Gothic” folk touch and a charming accent. The second reason is the use of many folk instruments like accordion, bagpipes, tin whistles, low whistles, mandola, vibraphone and violins, all of them (except for violins) played by Demetrio in a very natural “unpolished” style, giving the impression of a live performance.
The raw sound of their guitars and the screaming growling vocals give an underground approach to their sound. The contrast with the folk orchestrations and the beautiful clean male and female vocals works very good for them, making their music always interesting. There are many instrumental and acoustic parts in their compositions and in general the folk instruments are “in the front” in the sound mix, something that I like very much. Of course there are also more aggressive parts, where their black / death metal nature becomes dominant, but the band has managed to sound melodic and brutal at the same time, changing skillfully from one genre to the other, or combining them both at once. There are 13 songs in the album, including 3 short instrumental tracks, with a total album duration a little over 54 minutes. The 13th track “Il Fuggevol Sogno” is an acoustic song not listed on the CD and it’s the only one with Italian lyrics. All other lyrics are in English, dealing with epic, fantasy and Viking themes.
“Neverfade” is a very good album for all folk metal fans to check, especially those who prefer a more underground sound and some brutal vocals. Vallorch leave many promises for the future, since their compositions are full of beautiful folk (mostly Celtic) melodies presented in their own personal style and sound. My opinion is that the band needs a more solid production and an overall technical improvement, preserving at the same this natural atmosphere of its music and maybe a better filtering in the songwriting, avoiding some weaker parts. “Neverfade” is released by Moonlight Records in a wonderful 3-panel digipak with 16-page booklet. All painting are by Dennis Ercole, while all graphic work is by band’s guitarist Marco Munari. You better visit their official Facebook page to listen to their music and find details on how to purchase both this album and the EP.
Vallorch @ Facebook