|Review: Valiance - The Unglorious Conspiracy|
|The Unglorious Conspiracy|
Label: Black Lotus Records
Year released: 2000
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: July 30, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:The Unglorious Conspiracy
Rated 3/5 (60%) (1 Vote)
Boy, do these Italians never learn? Yet another symphonic/progressive power metal outfit to emerge from the interminable bog of second rate facsimiles, Valiance and their debut offering "The Unglorious Conspiracy" (are they just making words up, now?) have done little but irritate the genre with their 'unglorious' efforts. Frankly, this would be a very decent, well arranged, well performed set of tunes if it wasn't for the absolutely appalling production, sounding like it was recorded in an aluminium wishing well. For once, the bullshit orchestral intro is very effective, and actually invited more interest than necessary, as the remainder of this album is a poor, pathetic waste of time.
Beyond progressive in some of the most disjointed sections any band has to offer; "Search for the Cross" breaches every quality barrier and ultimately leads to very little. Openers "Swords Made of Me" and "Sleeper's Reign" are of the better tracks, with some rather fine hooks and decent riffing, but generally, Valiance miss the target every time, and as the production is so poor – especially the terribly tinny drum sound – all elements of genuine value are lost irrevocably. While the vocal lines prove rather captivating – the lyrics are sadly incoherent rambling – and the keys and harpsichords attest their taste for dexterity, only "Sandful Eyes" remains listenable, and even most of that song's twin guitar work sounds chaotic. These guys look the part, their musicianship is often extremely versatile, and even their vocalist Carmine Gottardo can carry a very catchy tune, but unfortunately, Valiance float to the top of the bowl. With a better production and perhaps some simpler arrangements, Valiance could come up with an album to rival peers Labyrinth, Rhapsody and Orion Riders. It's a shame that I haven't visited this in a long time. But you probably shouldn't either.
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