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VALENCE

Progressive Metal • United States


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Valence biography
Founded in New Rochelle, USA in 2010

VALENCE is a progressive metal band from NY, USA, founded in 2010. The band consists of guitarists Michael BUONANNO and Geoffrey SCHAEFER, drummer Chris ROMANO and bassist Ian MORRIS. In June 2012 they released their debut album ''Sleepwalker'', a 34-minute instrumental epic, consisting of 8 sections. Two years later, VALENCE would release the instrumental EP ''Laser Baron''.

VALENCE's music fuses metal, jam, classical, jazz and draws influences both from contemporary instrumental progressive metal but also experimental metal and heavy rock.

Biography by aapatsos

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VALENCE discography


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VALENCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 5 ratings
Sleepwalker
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Cognitive Dissidents
2019

VALENCE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VALENCE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VALENCE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VALENCE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Laser Baron
2014

VALENCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cognitive Dissidents by VALENCE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Cognitive Dissidents
Valence Progressive Metal

Review by Steve Conrad

— First review of this album —
4 stars What I REALLY Like About Progressive Metal

Verve, Flair, Sophistication, Effervescence

Well, I could go on and on. Those are some of the terms I noted down as I listened to this new release from Westchester County, New York-based quartet "VALENCE".

They've been a going concern since 2010, and were entirely new to me.

Biased

Yes, I have a major soft spot for actual humans playing actual instruments in real-life bands. From what I can gather, with one personnel change at bass guitar, VALENCE has been a working unit, polishing their act, and honing their skills.

And they have serious skills, while alongside, what appears to be some serious fun using them in making great music.

Pulverizing, Fizzing, Complexity, Intensity

See? I said I could go on and on.

I normally review albums with my trusty audio-technica headphones jammed over my ears, and it got kind of messy since my head kept exploding- but in a good way, he hastened to say.

How So?

Well, it's like this: VALENCE is all instrumental, and try, just try to write and perform all instrumental progressive music. Keep it interesting. Lively. Gutsy. Exciting.

Make it worth listening to with chops, variety, shades of mood, intensity.

Yeah, I thought so.

Yet, VALENCE manages these tasks with gusto.

Not Bored. Just Wrung Out

(But in a good way).

There was this Jean-Luc Ponty concert back in the day- almost nonstop intensity, sophistication, and drive. After, all I wanted to do was drape myself over the curb and watch the traffic pass by.

Sort of how it felt when 'Red Sky at Morning' closed things off on this album.

Some Musical Musing

Just darn impressive twin guitar work with bass guitar sometimes in unison, sometimes in counterpoint, sometimes guitars using wah or tremolo, and some way-cool drumming.

Each guy obviously a whiz-kid at their chosen instruments. Superfast scales and arpeggios, switching to liquid soaring lines, and then quieting to chiming picked clean chords.

The occasional keyboard that to my taste could have been utilized more.

Highlights

Humor: 'Damnit, Lana!' and the tongue in cheek titles.

Several tracks were stand outs: The aforementioned hapless Lana (a mischievous kitten? Pet walrus?) 'Walrus', and 'III. Preferred Nomenclature'.

The use of choral work in the closing epic track.

In closing

More VALENCE, more! Polished. Disciplined. Bounce...

4 killer kids.

 Laser Baron by VALENCE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Laser Baron
Valence Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars Reflected on the album's (once again very interesting) artwork, Valence's EP "Laser Baron" is a dynamic, powerful mix of progressive metal and hard rock and ups the tempo significantly compared to their first album "Sleepwalker". Here we have in total 3 compositions which clock to just above 16 minutes but with more riffs to fill a 30-minute album...

Although starting out in a quirky mood, 'Wormhole' provides the mellower balance tune in the middle of the EP with softer, jazzier passages and a fairly relaxed atmosphere. This compensates the relentless bombardment of chopping heavy riffs in 'Laser Baron' and the 'The Reckoning'. And although there is more of a progressive metal philosophy on this EP compared to the debut, there are still the references to Iron Maiden in the highlight closing track, which builds on the Maiden's post-2000 proggier legacy.

The sound is rather bombastic and the amount of riffs they have managed to fit in these 16 minutes is impressive but this could be at times the downside of this EP as it tends to result in a disjointed sequence blast of ideas. The fully instrumental character does not help in that respect as there are moments where the appearance of vocals would be welcome. Therefore the balance tilts towards the overwhelming and this is combined with the not-so-innovative compositions; however, the final result is above average and fans of powerful progressive metal will enjoy this release. Played live, this must be highly entertaining.

3(-) stars

 Sleepwalker by VALENCE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.25 | 5 ratings

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Sleepwalker
Valence Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars Maiden-oriented progressive metal!

"Sleepwalker" is the debut album of VALENCE, a new band in the progressive metal books, and consists of eight sections (rather than tracks, although individually named) as described by the band, clocking to almost 35 minutes of playing time.

The sections are instrumental on their entirety, building on the guitar work of Michael Buonanno and Geoffrey Schaefer. The duo experiments with both clean and distorted guitars, trying to create a balance between the heavy rock riffs and the mellower passages. Although their main influence comes from Iron Maiden (several twin-guitar moments but also a lot of theme riffs in the album remind me of them), they manage to introduce spirit and dynamism beyond re-producing already known song patterns. Perfect examples of this is are the middle sections of the album "Tempest Tides..." "...Burned to Desert", which are possibly the highlights, sounding like they have been recorded "live" in the studio.

Reference to jazz/fusion can also be found, especially in the first heavy-oriented section "the Depths". The band does not depend on odd-time signatures to create their intricate sound, rather on a combination of riffs and tempos, and the adventurous playing of the rhythm section. The mellower sections ("Sleepwalker", "To Dust, Across Dimensions", "From Ashes, Reborn") are somewhat simplistic and rather indifferent compared to the heavier ones, while from "Winds of Zephyr" onwards, some of the riffs are repeated (I assume to link with the previous parts of the album) and seems as if the band has run out of ideas, although the album ends on a high note with "Lucid Dream".

"Sleepwalker" does sound at times as a straight heavy-rock/instrumental metal album but has a good amount of experimentation and a progressive approach in executing the classic rock-oriented riffs of Buonanno and Schaefer. A worthy first effort by the band, although there is room for improvement in creating a much more interesting and attractive result.

PS. Almost forgot to refer to the great artwork!

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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