I would not have put Greece so firmly on the Metal map a few months […]
July 7, 2020
Deathvalves - Slaves album cover

I would not have put Greece so firmly on the Metal map a few months ago, but since getting onboard at Metal Temple, I've broadened my horizons with a few bands from that part of the world.  Mainly they have been highly technical Progressive Metal/Power Metal bands, but DEATHVALVES buck that trend with their Melodic take on Heavy Metal/Hard Rock with a modern sound.

Having formed in 2006, in Karditsa, Greece, they have 3 albums under their belt, with Slaves being a strong 4th. The guys have supported a number of bands in the past along their journey including BOCAS HELM, DEUS EX MACHINA and former IRON MAIDEN vocalist BLAZE BAILEY.

Their sound is a very crisp clear rock vibe, as is illustrated on the opening track "Fight The Fire", built on a chunky beat and some decent riffage.  I'll be honest it took me a couple of listens to get into T. Sydrome's vocals.  His isn't the traditional Metal vocalist, but it gives the material a very modern take on the material.  This one reminds me of BRITISH LION for example (another MAIDEN reference, sorry).

"All Or Nothing" is a very modern fresh mid-paced rocker.  Whereas "In The Air" builds slowly before gathering pace.  The bands sound is very well balanced, you can here the bass, the drumming sounds human, and the guitars play off each other to build a layered pacier rock song.

"Memories" starts with a thumping guitar riff that would be at home on a PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS album.  However, this is one song where the music is much stronger than the vocals, which is a great shame, the song is more powerful than T's distinctive delivery.

"On The Edge" is a great paced Melodic Metal song.  You can see the influences rubbing off of the bands they've worked with, this is Metal of the type BLAZE delivers.  Yes they are decidedly different vocal deliveries, but it doesn't matter it works.  Fastest song on the album.

"In A Rut" feels like a very different best.  A very modern rocker with a pounding beat, almost FOO-like in places. And the vocals totally suit an work on this track.  I'm no expert, but it sounds like singing is a different key really suited T.

"Snakebite", is not my favorite.  I think because we are still in that modern rock area, and it sounds a little generic for my tastes.

However "Against The Time" is a mid paced brooding tune.  It has prog sensibilities with a small "p".  The guitar soloing is top notch.

"A World Behind" again has that modern Metal approach, he beat laid down by the drums is the bedrock of the song, and the interesting, off-kilter bass solo is a nice touch.  This reminds me of ABSOLVA, more in the music and the way the song builds than the vocals, but it works.

Then for a closer we get a fantastic ballad "Lost Again".  I could hear OZZY singing the chorus.  This is a great way to end the album, with a bitter sweet acoustic based number.  It would not sound out of place on THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS' last album, so cool.

A grower of an album.  Not perfect, and the vocals will not be to everyone's tastes, but I enjoyed more than I disliked, so that is a win.

8 / 10









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"Slaves" Track-listing:

1. Fight The Fire
2. All Or Nothing
3. In The Air
4. Memories
5. On The Edge
6. In A Rut
7. Snakebite
8. Against The Time
9. A World Behind
10. Lost Again

Deathvalves Lineup:

T. Sydrome - Vocals / Guitar
Thanasis Valeras - Guitar
Chris Sven - Bass
Sakis - Drums / Backing Vocals

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