Review: VALINOR "Hidden Beauty" – is the Beauty Hidden Too Deep?
Four years have passed and the Polish VALINOR reminded about their existence. Now the second album named „Hidden Beauty“ has been released. I remember my enjoyment when I listened to the previous creation then. The effect was so strong that I expected to see the bands’ live show in Lithuania once. But everything changes and today VALINOR seems to be not so potent and interesting. Maybe the charm of compositions according to the title is masked somehow? Let’s look…
The prologue is not exclusive in any point. The music clearly lacks the previous voyage to bewitching wilds of darkness, folk music, death and melody. The first impression is also supported by the second track holding the mix of traditional black and death metal ordinary and dry if not to say trite. Where has the former colorful, attractive, quite original sympho-black sound disappeared? The title track should be exclusive in some view, shouldn’t it? The next 3 compositions are also not special – what a shame that a really perspective band was affected by a certain impact and just turned to a quite unimpressive act.
The situation moderately changes to the better side in the 6th song that is an instrumental analogue of the title song. It appears to be melodic, lyrical and really fresh, in contrast to the routine first part of the album. Surely enough, “Requiem” is also more exciting although here you can find almost standard death metal after rather technical guitar passages. I could even note there was some touch with AMON AMARTH. This feature leaves little chance to the band to be distinguished among a dozed Polish metal bands and to navigate to wide waters. The symphonic intro to „The Bloodless Face“ promises pretty impressions. And really, eventually you can feel the track to be one of the most exciting and assorted in the whole album taking into account both the sound and the turnover of instruments. Still, suddenly you hear an epilogue and your bloodless face makes you conclude in general that „Hidden Beauty“ is a so-so step. It seems to be too little mature and rather chaotic for the long-living band. Maybe this has been caused by the lack of ideas or the attempt to imitate famous bands in order to rise themselves. Anyway such a formula cannot help today if not even disturb.
The epilogue is so angry, combative, it seems like it is carrying lightning and thunder. Consequently, the album ends and it is too short in the modern scale. One should be confused as the formerly much promising band decayed in 2.5 points instead of the progress. Unhappily that is true.
1. Prologue (0:55)
2. Hidden Beauty (4:45)
3. The Voice of Space (3:59)
4. The Funeral (3:46)
5. A Hand of Dead (4:56)
6. Hidden Beauty – The Beginning(6:32)
7. Requiem (3:29)
8. The Bloodless Face (3:55)
9. Epilogue (1:34)