VALGRIND - Millennium of Night Bliss (CD)
The highly anticipated 5th full-length by this Italian band. By now, those who follow our dark deeds should be well familiar with Valgrind. Despite forming all the way back in 1996 and releasing three demos and an EP before going on hiatus in 2002, it was the 2012 debut album, "Morning Will Come No More" where Valgrind kicked off their activities... and thereīs been no looking back. With steadfast dependability and ever-so-slight "progression" each time, these Italians have quietly become stalwarts of classics-minded Death Metal that isnīt completely blinkered by the past. Yes, their influences largely remain the same -foundational Morbid Angel, Pestilence, Death, Nocturnus, Possessed, Monstrosity and Immolation- but Valgrind have increasingly sought their own muse, becoming more personal in lyrical approach whilst keeping their attack trend-free Death Metal. But if 2020īs Memento Mori-released "Condemnation" signaled a sea-change for Valgrind -an undeniably "something", a never-belabored uniqueness, despite mostly still sounding like the same band- then they certainly continue this sterling development with "Millennium of Night Bliss". Indeed, thereīs an eerie aura and a more supernatural lyrical bent that fuel Valgrindīs fifth album, and the power-trio duly whip forth a vortex of dark and dazzling technicality and jaw-dropping chops. Everywhere you turn across the nine-song/38-minute work, thereīs some slipstreaming portal opening up into another into another ad infinitum; one could say "Millennium of Night Bliss" isnīt so much a "complex" record (although it is) as itīs one of rippling darkness and dementia. Truly, Valgrind sound mental here, as the blazing angularity and "tunefully atonal" intensity hearken to such once-slept-on classics as Immolationīs "Here in After" and Morbid Angelīs "Formulas Fatal to the Flesh". However, the Italians still continue to exert their own identity, adding just the right amount of melody and making the remarkably crisp and clean production work entirely for them. Could "Millennium of Night Bliss" be Valgrindīs best record yet? Put in the work and lose thyself in its labyrinths, and surely will you see the night-blissful truth!