The Flenser's recent output has leaned into goth, electronic and some experimentalism, but lest we forget that the Bay Area–based label also released vicious and challenging records from the outer reaches of metal from the likes of Bosse De Nage, Loss, Panopticon, Skagos and more. Oakland's Vale is a black-metal band that fits perfectly with some of that extreme output, using black metal, d-beat, discordant riffs and vile vocals in their approach.
Vale — vocalist Kate Coysh, guitarists James Meyer and Daniel Borman, bassist Thaddaeus Perkins and Justin Ennis on drums and electronics — show off their skills on their scathing new track "Final Flesh," which premieres today (March 21st) ahead of its May 24th release on their Burden of Sight LP.
As mentioned previously, black metal and crust are both jumping off points, and with "Final Flesh" there is a uneasy darkness that permeates throughout the song. And while the track is filled with ripping riffs, an understanding of the use of light and shade, killer blasts and a truly mean vocal, the most valuable currency with "Final Flesh" is said darkness — the same sort of feeling that makes you turn the light on when it's really not needed for fear of what lurks in the shadows. It's a commodity that is missing in a lot of metal nowadays, emotion before skill and an understanding that making you feel is harder than making you impressed with a riff. Everyone has riffs, not everyone can build drama, violence and terror into their work.
Stream "Final Flesh" above for the first time and pre-order Burden of Sight now via The Flenser.