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Valis Ablaze biography
Founded in Bristol, UK in 2013

This Progressive and alternative band is from Bristol Manchester. The first EP "Insularity" released in January 2017 is showing a band in their new direction that will go even deeper with the released in 2018 of their first full-length album "Boundless". Not only the sound is refined, but they added in their djent inspired style more progressive twist and better musicianship. VALIS ABLAZE has been a support band for TESSERACT, THE CONTORTIONIST, and DEAD LETTER CIRCUS. Their music has some sumptuous melodies with powerful choruses and some great vocals. The band has released many singles and 2 EPS to know the reaction of critics and fans before releasing their debut album.


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VALIS ABLAZE discography

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4.04 | 15 ratings
3.78 | 4 ratings

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
2.00 | 2 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Render by VALIS ABLAZE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.78 | 4 ratings

Valis Ablaze Progressive Metal

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Valis Ablaze is a progressive metal band founded in Bristol, UK in 2013. Here is a band that has been mostly testing the water, releasing an occasional EP or single and then listening to what critics and the public had to say about it, and growing and learning from that. It wasn't until 2018 that they released their first album called "Boundless".

Then in July of 2019, the band released their 2nd album "Render". For this album, the band line-up consists of Phil Owen on vocals, Ash Cook and Tom Moore on guitars, George Demner on bass and Dayle Williams on drums. The album consists of 10 tracks with a total duration of almost 50 minutes, all of the tracks within the 4 ? 6 minute range. The band has made a non- concept album in order to give each track its own identity.

A low drone brings in the heavy guitars and a moderately fast album opener "Neon Dreaming". The vocals are very good and seem to fit the style quite well. The track has got a solid progressive metal sound, but refrains from total aggressiveness, keeping things in a accessible sound that leans on the heavy side with a level of complexity a notch or two above the typical metal style. The music is anthem oriented making it an appropriate opener and uses dynamics to create small sections of less heavy music, but always returning to the heavy, solid style. "Hollow Heart" continues in this style, melodic and heavy, but just above the typical metal sound in complexity, yet still quite accessible. Again, the vocals are excellent, suiting the music well, dynamic and emotional.

By the time "The Convincer" starts, you have a good idea what the album is going to sound like, heavy with some great progressive sound. This track is a bit more complex, but still carries the same basic sound. The processed harmonies do give a distitive sound to the vocals on this track, however. "Keyframes" shows a nice level of variation with a softer track, yet it still carries a lot of power and progressive sound and it all becomes quite intense and emotional by the end. Definitely a highlight. "Ascent" returns to the heavier sound again, still remaining complex and solid. Sam Bell is a guest vocalist on this track and his style is mixed into the track as a more spoken word sound that quickly increases to shouting, but this doesn't last very long as the regular vocalist returns. This track is more of an onslaught of sound and heaviness, but the progressiveness still remains.

"Saturation" provides another break in the heaviness with some interesting vocal effects and some meandering keyboards. There is a heavier use of electronics on this track, but it provides some needed variety. As the track continues, a solid bass provides the heaviness bringing in more guitars again. "Proxy" also goes for a softer sound, but works up to a heavier chorus. The overall feel to this track is a more standard song format. "States of Decay" begins surprisingly soft and mellow with echoing keyboards and soft guitar. Remaining at a slow tempo, the intensity increases during the bridge, then calms and builds again. The melody is lovely and emotional, and the progressive level goes up again as it continues. It's a nice track that still holds a lot of power.

"Infinite World" starts with a complex bass line which continues through the track as it moves from short pensive sections to longer and heavier, complex sections. The music becomes increasing chaotic as it goes on almost turning into a wall of heaviness that increases to include some growling towards the middle. This soon calms and then builds again. The thick sound returns for the last verse with layers of guitar and vocal harmonics. The last track "Elevation" starts right off with fast churning heaviness and the vocals coming in right away. However, the music still takes time to be dynamic, moving easily between heavy and soft, progressively moving along, not staying in one spot too long. More growling comes in later as the track approaches extreme metal boundaries, but overall mostly staying away from totally crossing that line. Things pull back a bit and the guest vocalize White Dove lends her vocals to the sound, creating another layer to the harmonies later, giving the track a nice unique sound. This track definitely stands out. It does all seem to end rather quickly however.

Overall, this is a great album from this band, it sounds quite professional, yet still retains a rough edge so as to not sound overly polished. The vocalist is great, the guitar work is excellent, and there is a lot of progressive edge to the music to keep fans of the genre happy. I would have liked to have seen a little more variety, but this is still a great album that I would revisit several times. The music does venture to some standard format songs, but mostly sticks with a progressive style. Lovers of the genre should definitely check this band out and it surprises me that we haven't heard more about this band. Easily, this is a 4 star album which will grow on you with repeated listenings.

 Boundless by VALIS ABLAZE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.04 | 15 ratings

Valis Ablaze Progressive Metal

Review by Mebert78

5 stars Every so often a band releases an album that makes me temporarily forget about all other bands and albums. Sometimes that infatuation can last a few weeks, and sometimes it goes on for months. That band for me right now is British progressive metallers Valis Ablaze and the album is their debut Boundless, which came out this spring through Long Branch Records. It's still early, but this disc might break my obsession record.

For those who aren't familiar with Valis Ablaze, the band was founded in 2013 and has been a support act for other prog groups like Tesseract, The Contortionist and Dead Letter Circus. For starters, I should note that I'd never even heard of Valis Ablaze until a month or two ago when I read their album review in Prog magazine, which was positive but not overly glowing. The subheadline read: "Bristol prog metallers impress despite failing to break new ground." Still, the piece made me curious enough to punch up the album online and give it a listen. Needless to say, I immediately ordered it and haven't looked back. It actually has yet to leave my car stereo, and I even find myself frequently streaming the songs while at work. Basically, Boundless has been the only thing I've listened to for the past three weeks now, which is a sure sign that these tracks are something special. In fact, it's hard to think of a progressive metal act that has given us a better debut album in recent years -- or, dare I say, a better album period. Yes, those are big words. But believe me, Boundless deserves them.

From a sonic perspective, Boundless reminds me of Valis Ablaze's fellow countrymen and progressive metal peers Tesseract, which isn't surprising since Valis Ablaze has previously opened for Tesseract. Like djent-heavy Tesseract, Valis Ablaze seems to share a penchant for thunderous grooves and clean vocals with instrumentation so intricate and tight it left me mesmerized. For example, "The Crossing" and "Evade" -- the latter of which is Boundless' longest song at 6:23 -- both begin with Tesseract-esque echoed guitar picking that evolves into explosive percussion and addictive riffing. Other killer tracks included the two singles, "Frequency" and "Paradox," which had me headbanging like my neck were on a big hinge, while deeper cuts like "Hex" and "Faster Than Light" prove this record has no weak spots. "It won't be long until you see what is right in front of you," Phil Owen intensely belts out.

But Boundless isn't just "balls and chunk," as legendary drummer Mike Portnoy would say. It also contains its share of softer moments, atmospheric sections and emotional melodies. The hypnotic opening song "Afterlight" features a delicate intro that quickly builds up into a full-band assault, while "Lumen" includes a piano sound that gave me a Dream Theater feel. For my fellow keyboard enthusiasts, there's some discreet key work for ambiance purposes peppered all throughout Boundless -- including on the thought-provoking closer "Reflections," which is probably my favorite tune so far of 2018. And although the 11-track album doesn't contain any totally acoustic tunes, it does succeed in offering a nice balance of dynamics.

I also love Boundless' lyrics, which seem to outline a process of self-exploration in an effort to effect change in one's life. "Your time has come," Phil Owen sings in the opening verse. Later, during the final lines, Owen sings: "Soon I realized that my guide all along was inside; it was I..." I felt myself exploring the darkest caverns of my soul as I meticulously followed Owen's words. To be honest, I might even put his introspective lyrics in the same class as Fates Warning's A Pleasant Shade of Gray and Riverside's Second Life Syndrome albums.

Ironically, the last progressive metal record from a mostly unknown band to amaze me as much as Valis Ablaze's Boundless was probably Tesseract's Altered State album in 2013. My only hope is that Valis Ablaze can maintain their magic, which is something Tesseract has failed to do in my eyes. Fingers crossed, because this band is destined for greatness.

Your time has come, Valis Ablaze.

- Michael R. Ebert (

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

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