Welcome to oblivion; the new I, Valiance is here & it’s fucking great!
What I love about the always-extreme and experimental I, Valiance is that you never know what you’re going to get from them. While you know that it’ll be well-produced and heavy-as-fuck, as for how the compositions flow structurally, the breadth of sounds and influences touched up, as well as the genre synthesis undertaken, you’re never quite sure what’s about to happen when you hit play for that very first listen. I mean, we’re talking about a band in which their music video/single releases aren’t the same versions of what the songs are on the respective album. Which is super exciting from a listener standpoint; you’re always kept on your toes.
Getting right to the core about the ‘why’ behind their music, I, Valiance bassist Matias Morales recently expanded on their thought process and why the band sounds as varied as they do, writing:
“We came into this because of a combination of things. Using music as a coping mechanism, being able to express whatever we want and showing to people that we are human, we are vulnerable and that we are approachable. We have always used writing music to escape so, therefore, it doesn’t really follow any sort of structure, it is erratic. At the same time, it’s a demonstration of us showing how metal, hardcore, punk, and anything that falls under that umbrella has been such a huge part of our lives. Our music incorporates as many influences into one package as we can. It’s important to us because its good to represent where we come from but there’s also no rules to this shit. We basically do whatever we feel like.”
That last sentiment – “we basically do whatever we feel like” – was fully summarized earlier this week when I, Valiance dropped the second part of their planned 2018 release trilogy, the numerically logical ‘II‘. As for one of Australia’s most unique heavy artists, everything comes in three’s. Back in March, we saw the release of ‘I‘, an eclectic, violent four-track beast that proved exactly why this Aussie group are one of the most creative and interesting deathcore bands around. (Can we even label them as ‘deathcore’ anymore, though?) And that heaviness, weirdness, and sheer creativity continued full-steam ahead with the six massive tracks found on ‘II‘, with part three hopefully arriving at the tail-end of this year.
Mixed and mastered by Lance Prenc, there’s a lot to unpack here. First off, the band’s primary vocalist moving forward will now be Terrence Kilner, who fronted the band during their March 333 Australian tour with Dregg and who fits the band’s sound perfectly. Poida’s shoes are massive to fill but Terrence is slipping in nicely with his own style. But now, let’s also get into the actual songs themselves.
‘II‘ features a new take on ‘Three Daggers‘ (the outro from the single version of the groovy, nu-metal-ish ‘I Am Free‘), with former vocalist/Aversions Crown frontman Mark Poida guest featuring to drop some hard rapped bars over freaky guitar lines and bass-boosted instrumentals. There’s also a fresh version of the band’s insane 2017 single, ‘The Blood Beneath My Nails‘, and I more than welcome this awesome new redux. It’s inclusion here couldn’t be better, really. The synthy, spacey sounds and modulated guitar sweeping of ‘Crave Death Pt. 1‘ hits a major 180-shift in its final stretch, becoming a grimy trap-banger in the process. Then closer ‘Crave Death Pt. 2‘ is just straight-up, unadulterated I, Valiance; busy instrumentals, unnerving atmospherics, layered samples, intense guitar work, blasting and savage drum patterns, and guttural death metal vocals. It’s pure heavy bliss, in the only way that this band can create and nail.
Premiered via Depth Mag on Wednesday, hellish lead single ‘I, The Enemy‘ is a demonic, wicked tune through and through. It’s like a demented circus act armed to the teeth with creepy sounds, vile riffs, monstrous deathcore moments, Terrence’s brutal vocal performances, and even a trap/hip-hop flourish when it merges into ‘Crave Death Pt. 1‘ come the finale. (The on-album version ends very differently, mind you, in an extreme-surf-rock-meets-deathcore kind of way).
All up, this is fuckin’ great stuff. I cannot wait to put all three parts of this puzzle together when ‘III‘ eventually drops to experience the full record.
Be sure to check out the odd-ball and endlessly weird film clip for ‘I, The Enemy‘ below, as well as the rest of the solid ‘II‘ over here.
Catch I, Valiance at these live dates with their pals in Boris The Blade:
FRI 24 AUG – Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne 18+
SAT 25 AUG – Factory Floor, Sydney 18+
TUES 28 AUG – The Basement, Canberra 18+
FRI 31 AUG – Crowbar, Brisbane 18+