Skip to main content

Progressive Metal Review: Valence-Laser Baron

Release Date: 10thJune 2014
Label:   Indie

Laser Baron is the second release from the band Valence, following on from the debut release, Sleepwalker in 2012. The name I saw at one point was likened to “valence” in chemistry which has to do with the bonding power of an atom ( all over my head as in a previous life I was a Plant Physiologist) and the band “fuses or bonds” together metal, jam, classical and jazz to form a unique sophisticated progressive style. A terrific claim to make, so does the music available on Laser Baron substantiate this claim?

Valence came together in 2010, the debut release was two years later and now another EP puts in an appearance. The band is a 4 piece outfit comprising Michael Buonanno (guitar), Geoffrey Schaefer (guitar), Ian Morris (bass) and Chris Romano (drums). There is an interesting storyline to Laser Baron, in that it is based around a fictional scientist, Dr Mervin Taylor. The music will bring out the struggle between good and evil and transportation into an oppressed parallel universe, which is a lot to squeeze into 3 tracks. To parallel the music, the band is releasing a series of short stories, written by band member Geoffrey Schaefer, to further explain the full story of Laser Baron.

Laser Baron is a 3 track release with a total playing time of 17:14 minutes. The shortest track on offer is “Wormhole” lasting for 4:31 minutes and the longest track on the EP is the final track, “The Reasoning” nudging just over the 6 minute mark. (6:24)

The opening, title track, “Laser Baron” (5:19) is a full blooded assault on the ears with the twin guitars of Michael Buonnano and Geoffrey Schaefer doing what they obviously do well, powerfully backed up by Ian Morris (bass) and Chris Romano (drums). Some tasty little guitar riffs being thrown out here and there, but sometimes just about breaking the speed limit. At around 4:30 minutes there is a distinct change into a much more jazzy area, but with little time to evolve before the track has gone.

“Wormhole” (4:31) is an almost laid back spacey piece of music with some truly wonderful  guitar playing which, I will admit, was unexpected after the opening “Laser Baron.” As it progresses past the 3:30 minute mark, the urgency and the tempo certainly pick up and we are back into metal areas which escort the track out and into “The Reckoning.”


The final track, “The Reckoning” (6:24) returns us to the thunderous version of Valence so prevalent on the opening track. The difference this time round is that there are touches of the melodic themes from track 2 and the furious shredding style seems to have been curtailed. There then follows some excellent guitar passages, but the heavy metal thundering is almost palpable just below the surface.

Laser Baron, I will admit, highlights a style of progressive music which I would not class as my favorite. I find that guitarists who seem to like being speed merchants are notoriously difficult to tell apart, and thereby hangs the problem I found with Valence. I found parts of the songs excellent, and the musicians are obviously skilled, committed craftsmen, but unfortunately, I thought that much of what I was hearing was very generic in style and lacked the very factor they were aiming at, uniqueness.


Give Laser Barona few listens and make up your mind whether you want to create a space on your CD shelf, but on this occasion, I think I will pass.  An evolution from the debut release, but I still feel there is a way to go to get to where they want to be.

4/5 Stars

Key Track:  Wormhole

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

August 12, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

British Post-Punk Veterans 1919 Return With A Brand New Masterpiece Of Darkly Melodic Goth Rock, FUTURECIDE!

Los Angeles, CA - Like the mythic phoenix rising from the ashes, British post-punk band 1919 have gone through Hell and back over the course of their harrowing career, but they keep returning stronger than ever! Founded in 1980, the band released its debut album Machine in 1983 and one EP a year later before calling it quits. However, the band reformed in 2014 to great acclaim, performing numerous tours and at festivals across Europe. Then, tragedy struck as the band’s founding guitarist Mark Tighe was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and succumbed to the disease in January 2017. Tighe insisted that the band should carry on without him, which they have done in finest form with their newest effort Futurecide. The album, which will be officially released on April 12 via Cleopatra Records, features brand new compositions and includes special guest performances by Tighe as well as former member Steve Madden, who also passed away this year. The first single, “Anxiety,” was released at the en…

Concert Review: Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY

Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY December 13, 2018 http://ghost-official.com


With winter upon us in the great Northeast, it was just another night. We never have a reason to stay in because of the weather, we just go. It so happened that it was a nice evening for a drive to a Ghost concert.We secured our tickets months ago and have been anticipating this night for months on end.
Last July I attended a “bucket list” concert, the great Iron Maiden was coming to Mansfield, MA. Opening for them was Ghost. This was a turn of a friendly card for the band, a great way to get worldwide exposure otherwise not afforded by a lesser band. They were already on the rise and the lead singer Papa Emeritus had a helluva a band (no pun intended there). At that time my prediction was that when the new year began Ghost would be headlining their own shows. So, then it happened, here we are tonight watching this incredible metal band headlining their own show, with no opener may I add.
For those of you unf…

Experience Hendrix Tour 2019 Concert Review

The Experience Hendrix Tour 2019 Concert The Palace Theater Albany, New York April 3, 2019 http://www.experiencehendrixtour.com/


The pictures I have provided were snapped by me with my phone to give you an idea of the backdrop to the music prior to the show. That screen changed with each song and it was very trippy psychedelic colors and images that mirrored the timeframe of Jimi in his prime. -Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
The Electric Church arrived in Albany, NY last night with its all-star cast for the Experience Hendrix 2019 Tour.The music of Jimi Hendrix continues to thrive and be embraced by fans worldwide. This is a tour I have been wanting to catch for several years now and I finally made it, and so glad I did.
The best thing that could happen to this event is the involvement of Billy Cox. Anyone familiar with Jimi’s music knows that they were friends for a long time and Billy played bass on some of Jimi’s albums. Also, with Janie Hendrix involved it makes everything legit. Also havin…