Valley – “Dark Tears//Bright Smiles”


Valley is a melodic hardcore band from Belgium near Brussels, they were founded in 2014 after some members of a metalcore band wanted to diverge from the aggressive and straightforward music and make more melodic, emotive music without grunts but screams. Valley is not a band who wants to spend much time in the rehearsal room. They rather are on the road and have shared the stage with bands as; BEING AS AN OCEAN, BURNING DOWN ALASKA, ACRES and CASEY, to name a few.

After having released two EP’s they are now signed to Redfield Digital and the release date for their first full-length album is set on March 31, 2017.

In his own words, Valley’s vocalist is describing his vision of the music: “Emotive hardcore with an intimate atmosphere. Being in another world, accepting the emotions and give yourself to the music. Clean and screaming vocals. Influences of post rock.” Well, somehow this sounds very appealing to me, so let us take a closer look/listen to their new album “Dark Tears//Bright Smiles”

The first track ‘Restless’ starts with a blast, up-tempo riffs fill my headphones. But it doesn’t stay that way, the song backs down a bit to a more melodic style of hardcore. Valley uses a lot of spoken word during their songs but only to a certain degree, it really serves a purpose. It is beautiful interspersed with emotional screams as we are used to in this style of hardcore, sometimes high-pitched but never irritating.

The second song ‘Deception’ is taking us further into a beautiful stream of passionate music. What strikes me is that it is heavy music but with a serenity that is only heard, and felt, in this type of melodic hardcore. If I need to relax or have to make a long drive in my car I always enjoy this kind of music. The voice of Davy reminds me a bit of Andrew of their Dutch counterparts called Wolfer.

‘Dark Tears’ is an instrumental mellow track that is like a restful oasis in the desert where you can relax and come to your senses . I think it fits very well into the stream of this album, I like it but I know that is a matter of personal taste.

The fourth song ‘Salvation, Redeem Me’ begins with just acoustic guitar, after a while Davy kicks in with his vocals which fit seamless into the atmosphere. Slowly the song is building up further until they are back into the melodic hardcore-flow, again with spoken word and interspersed with calmer moments only to build up again. What a beauty is found in this song, it has all the elements that makes my hardcore-loving heart beat a bit faster. And I want to compliment drummer Sidney for his part in this song, wow! The fifth track ‘Safety Of Youth’ is, again, a bit more up-tempo with some heavy parts and all the aforementioned elements. I love the deep sound of the bass by the way.

‘Bright Smiles’ can be seen as some short interlude of 1:06 minutes with mainly spoken word. And it flows fluently into ‘Woven Hands / Broken Hands’, what to say about this song? Well, sometimes it is hard to pinpoint new things and elements but it all just fits like a glove in the flow of the album.

Then we have already reached the last song ‘The Discomfort Of Doubt’. This song also begins with clean guitars and spoken word, but immediately they are building up slowly making you crave for more to come. The song-title says nothing about the quality of the song…. No doubt about the awesomeness whatsoever…. The song is slowly fading away at the end and it leaves you with a tranquillity and a craving to put the album on repeat.

Conclusion: If you are into bands like Defeater, Being As An Ocean, Burning Down Alaska etcetera, you really have to give this album a listen when it drops on March 31. You won’t be disappointed, I promise….

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by: René Woning

1. Restless
2. Deception
3. Dark Tears
4. Salvation, Redeem Me
5. Safety Of Youth
6. Bright Smiles
7. Woven Hands / Broken Hands
8. The Discomfort Of Doubt

Band members:
Davy Carion – Vocals
Dennis Vandermeeren – Guitar
Kevin Kestemont – Guitar
Arne Hamelryck – Bass
Sidney Cansse – Drums

2014 Life’s Storms EP
2015 Eternity is Love EP
2017 Dark Tears // Bright Smiles

Record label: Redfield Digital, March 2017

Weblinks: Facebook / Instagram / Spotify / Bandcamp

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video for ‘Deception’

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