Author: Laura Cosheril
Ah Northern Ireland, home of the Titanic museum, Game of Thrones and sexy accents. Northern Ireland seem to spawn great bands (THERAPY?, GAMA BOMB and SCIMITAR to name a few!). Being from the island of Ireland myself, CONJURING FATE sounded like an extremely familiar name but for the life of me I couldn’t think where (at this point I didn’t even realise they were from). Then after a short bit of Googling, the penny dropped that I HAVE heard of them before. “Valley of Shadows” is CONJURING FATE‘s first full-length release following their popular 2014 EP “House on Haunted Hill”.
If I hadn’t previously listened to these guys, the opening track “Our Darkest Days” would really confuse me. The guitar tone is not what you would expect from a good old fashioned Heavy Metal band. It sounds almost exactly like the tone BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE used on “The Poison”, yet the riffs sounds Thrash-y, I love it. The vocals soon kick in and I’m reminded exactly why I fell in love with these guys in the first place. The vocals are piercing and straight out of the 80’s.
One aspect about this album I noticed very early on is that the guitar capabilities are ramped up immensely from their previous release. The guitar solo in “Dr. Frankenstein” is fast, finger-shredding goodness, something I’ve not heard from an underground Heavy Metal band in a while. “Chasing Shadows” is my absolute favourite, it has a galloping Thrash style riff with heart pounding drums, literally gives you brain tingles. The vocals are on point and Tommy Daly could easily be mistaken for the likes of Blaze Bailey.
As the album reaches the midway point, I stop noticing the change in songs as much and the album tends to start sounding much of the same. But, having said that, the songs are still very enjoyable and it’s a minor complaint.
Throughout the album, the production quality has been top notch, although during the track “Apocalypse” the sound is less crisp and almost sounds as if it was recorded separately from the rest of the album.
The last three tracks on the album are remastered versions of all three tracks from their previous EP. It’s great to see that they were included in the album as they are good songs, but I just wish there were a few more new, original tracks included; 8 new tracks is just a tease!
All in all, I revered this album. CONJURING FATE have suffered almost complete lineup changes in the past few years before the release of “House on Haunted Hill” and for them to play so well together after such a short amount of time is truly admirable. Musically this album was great, I really can’t say I didn’t like a song, all of my negatives have been minor and don’t take away from the album as a whole or musically. If you’re looking for a way to spend £8, buy this album, you won’t regret it, I assure you.
1. Our Darkest Days
2. Marching Dead
3. Dr Frankenstein
4. Land of the Damned
5. Chasing Shadows
6. A Primal Desire
7. Trust No One
9. House on Haunted Hill (2016 version)
10. Mirror Mirror (2016 version)
11. Backwoods Witch (2016 version)
Tommy Daly – Vocals
Phil Horner – guitar
Karl Gibson – guitar
Steve Legear – bass
Bogdan Walczak – drums