Matter As Regent

Wells Valley

I am personally not very current on the Sludge/Post-Metal scene in the country of Portugal, […]
By Matt "Wolverine" Johnson
March 9, 2015
Wells Valley - Matter As Regent album cover

I am personally not very current on the Sludge/Post-Metal scene in the country of Portugal, but as they were established in 2011, Lisbon-based trio WELLS VALLEY should be on the list of bands that deserve to be mentioned. Delivering "Matter As Regent," an ethereal, six-track album, this semi-experimental band tap into a dark, slow sound that can mesmerize the listener. In their February 2015 release, they stick to that sonic theme and build on the fundamentals, incorporating haunting, screaming vocals to complete the effectual sense of impending doom.

I'll begin with the opening track "Ghost of You." With some wild minor chords and drawn out, stringy notes on guitar, this sound is comparable to something in the realm of TOOL or DEFTONES, although the vocalist Filipe Correia actually reminded me of Fernando Ribiero of MOONSPELL. Call me crazy right? But being that they share the exact same hometown (WELLS VALLEY and MOONSPELL), it's not so far-fetched to think so. Onward then...

The album in general is pretty bare-bones stuff, just straight-to-the-point Post-Metal Doom music. Aside from the first track, the majority of the vocals are really screamy and except for the sixth track "Kingdom of Salvation" there really isn't a lot of variety in tempo. The instrumentation is really bass-heavy, featuring an array of down-tuned massive sounds and percussions that come clean through the speakers. It really is almost a crushing, punishing type of sound that comes after the listener's eardrums with huge, intimidating fists. WELLS VALLEY produces music that sounds as if they are each six-foot-five with big hands and a lot of body hair.

So let's say you are are a member of an underground European fighting ring. This is a good set of backing tracks for a scene in a dark, smoke-filled back-alley drinking establishment fitted with a room with a fighting stage for illegal gambling. It is a place where strangers are met with cold, empty stares and where no questions are asked unless you know the right guy. This is not music to which you make friends, and the album fits the grittiest of locales. It is not to be taken lightly! "Matter as Regent" gives plenty of insight to the type of dark quality WELLS VALLEY are capable of.

6 / 10

Had Potential

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"Matter As Regent" Track-listing:

1. Ghost of You
2. Star Over A Wheel
3. Hands Are Void
4. Sacred Mountain
5. Plead For Light
6. Kingdom of Salvation

Wells Valley Lineup:

Guitars/Vocals - Filipe Correia
Bass - Pedro Lopes
Drums - Mau

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