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HARDWARES

VALFREYA

Path To Eternity

(Maple Metal)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 7.0

It's easy to ridicule anything informed and inspired by Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons or fairies in general, and God knows I've mocked those elements with a particularly venomous brand of glee. The mocking comes to an abrupt end, however, when a record like VALFREYA's is at issue, this Montreal group taking the usual sword 'n' sorcery machinations and actually writing a listenable album, to the point where one wishes the group had expressed themselves on any other subject instead (including even the tired man versus machine inanity FEAR FACTORY is still - still! - prancing on about). Acting as the natural forest path that links FINNTROLL, DIMMU BORGIR, SIEBENBURGEN and RHAPSODY OF FIRE, Valfreya has managed to distill the greatest elements of all four (yeah, I know, I didn't think Rhapsody had any redeeming qualities, either) and has put forth a record that is determined, interestingly interesting, well-executed and, most importantly, listenable, as Path To Eternity is surely the raucous island on the fairyland map. 'Confront Immensity' is the undeniable highlight here, the track an indication that this band would just blow out of your speakers entirely if it had CRADLE's budget.



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