Válvera – Cycle of Disaster | Album Review

The problem with Thrash Metal is that it's hard to play, and even harder to break through to the genuinely amazing bands that make it such an imitable genre. It's also a genre that has standard the test of time for at least 40 years. As such, it has been tried, tested, told and retold and with many bands aiming for very similar things. Válvera, from Brazil, are amongst a more modern variety, but have these same difficulties as many other Thrash Metal bands do.

The rough shouts and fast musicianship is a staple of the genre, not just of Válvera, who wear this badge with pride. The guitars take a focus, throwing in solo's with precision and honed production values, but then so does a lot of Thrash. With songs like 'All Systems Fall' and 'Cycle of Disaster' they're really going for it, and the energetic gallops win over the more self indulgent guitar playing on the album. It's a careful balance and many bands are quick to show off what they can do over looking at well crafted material. Válvera walk this line very finely.

The guitar solos are one of the bigger consequences of this. It's a very classic, Heavy Metal or Rock and Roll approach and they're somewhat aware of this. The breaks for these moments are long, but are self-aware enough to look out for melody as well as periods of speed and not just one or the other. It's a really hard mix to pull off and their best songs on the album, 'O.S. 1977' and 'Nothing Left to Burn' are the best because they don't just look at the traditional to get their hooks in.

It's a really complicated area of music to push through and for all their efforts. They're held back, not through anything they've really done, but through the limitations that they can't see. Songs do best when they break away from the hard set rules. The most powerful riffs are getting harder to find. Válvera just happen to be pushing through anyway and they sit amongst many of the amazing bands amongst Thrash that may never see their hay day.

Score: 6/10

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