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Valor - 'The Yonder Answer' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 11, 2013    
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Melodic power metal from the Greek sextet.

Watching the growth of young Cypriot Metal label Pitch Black Records has been an interesting process, their roster expanding through various metal genres, sometimes with great success (Arrayan Path), sometimes not so much (Lethal Saint). However with Valor they have once again struck a rich vein of form, with the melodic power metal that this Greek sextet expound, being of a seriously high calibre. Forming in 2002 and having previously released only a mini-album and one full length effort – 2008's 'Destiny's Path', Valor may not be exactly guilty of saturating the market with their work. Thankfully however the clumsily titled 'The Yonder Answer' suggests a quality over quantity ethos that many bands could learn from.

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As ever power metal needs a strong guitar attack and with the twin axing from Spyros Soldatos and Vasilas Kourkoutas, Valor certainly have that side of things sown up. Almost immediately that conjures up images of Iron Maiden or Helloween and while both bands are in play here, the strong keyboard presence of Thanasis Lois steers this particular ship down a slightly different course, hinting at Pagan's Mind or even Vision Divine. Although in their slower moments a whiff of Saxon at their more restrained joyfully springs forth. However the real ace in the pack here is singer Vaggelis Krouskas who's slightly – endearingly so – accented vocals are simply stunning. Often his efforts are twin tracked, allowing the most sumptuous, yet powerful harmonies to grow from song to song and in truth he takes a set of above average power metal songs, such as 'Guides', 'Answer's Yonder' or 'Choices' and raises them far above the run of the mill that often passes for metal of power.

If you like a sack full of melody with your metal, don't let 'The Yonder Answer' stay elusive for long.

Steven Reid

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Franco Cerchiari said:

I agree. A great album from this Greek band. Mixing the heavy pianos of Heavenly, the melodies of Artension, and symphonic sounds of Avian, Valor has done themselves proud. The sound is full, the vocals soar, the orchestration excellent, and the mixing done extremely well. Loud when it needs to be and soft in others.

Highlights of this great CD include the piano of the short opening track, 'The Journey Begins,' the sensational acoustic guitars that give way to killer hooks that then flow into power guitar chords all heard on 'Follow Me,' the amazing bass guitar work of 'One Hand Red,' and the machine gun double bass drums and the synthesizer solo of the closing track, 'Inner Nature.'

Valor has come up with a good one. Problem is, lame American Radio seems content ot play the same dried up status quo, never allowing for metal like Valor's (and so many others,) works go unheard of by mainstream metal listeners. Change is due, but sadly not going to happen. So instead support bands like Valor and pick up a copy of this strong release.

Lovers of the symphonic and power metal will love this.
November 23, 2013
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