VALLENFYRE's doomy, death metal debut, ‘A Fragile King’, was unleashed upon most of Europe today, October 31st, 2011, or will be in the coming days. North American release date is set for November the 1st, 2011, while VALLENFYRE's Australian and New Zealand fans will be able to get their hands on the album from November the 4th, 2011 on, courtesy of Century Media Records. VALLENFYRE is the brainchild of Gregor Mackintosh (songwriter and guitarist of PARADISE LOST) who, accompanied by members of MY DYING BRIDE, AT THE GATES, and DOOM, recorded the album with James Dunkley (live sound engineer for PARADISE LOST). The effort was mixed by Russ Russell at Parlour Studios. Buy the album here.
[In Gregor Mackintosh's words: “The album is called ‘A Fragile King’ which is a reference to my fathers' battle with cancer. The lyrics are predominantly about the same thing but also include gripes with society, religion, politics and relationships as well. It’s all pretty grim.”
“The events that led to the conception and formation of VALLENFYRE are not particularly happy or pretty ones. In the late summer of 2009, my father, John Mackintosh, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. We were not too worried at first as this is a common and quite curable form of cancer. Later in the Autumn as his treatment progressed, PARADISE LOST embarked on the their European tour to support the latest album [‘Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us’]. A week into this, I received a call from my mother telling me that the doctors had found cancer in his lungs and it was terminal. He only had weeks to live. I made the decision to leave the tour before it went to mainland Europe leaving my very able guitar tech Mully to take my place. I went and stayed with my parents for the next few weeks. After a very sad and painful time he passed away on the 2nd December early in the morning. Over the next few weeks I experienced all the famous stages of grief. It started to become very self destructive so I decided to channel it into creating something. To pay respects to the man that drove us to our very first gigs because none of us could drive. The only Dad I knew that listened to BOLT THROWER's ‘Peel Sessions’ on the radio. The guy who gave me my first chord book. I decided that I was going to go right back to the beginning. To my roots in death, crust and doom [metal]. It all started very angst ridden. This wasn’t originally meant for anyone else to hear. It was a release. After recording some material I realized that I was actually enjoying doing this but I wanted friends involved so it could actually become real fun.” [Read more here]
Mackintosh turned to PARADISE LOST drummer Adrian Erlandsson (“a great drummer and a good friend, he also has a great pedigree and taste in music”), MY DYING BRIDE's guitarist Hamish Glencross (“Hamish is a friend of many years and an all round lovely chap who grew up in my home town of Halifax. Every time I go back to my home town I give Hamish a call to see if he wants some ales in “The Sportsman” (one of the first pubs I ever went in and still the same good old rock establishment today as it was then), to which he always says yes”), rhythm guitarist Mully (“every Thursday I go to his house and we have a few beers and listen to lots of old school stuff as well as checking out newer underground stuff we’ve heard about; having only played in local bands previously, I assured him he would be among friends playing the kind of music they love. He agreed.”) and DOOM bassist Scoot (“he was interested in doing this VALLENFYRE project with me but wanted to hear it so I had to knock together some demos; he is very specific in what he does and doesn’t like so I was pleased when he said he loved the stuff”) with whom he first recorded a limited edition 7” entitled ‘Desecration & Iconoclast’ (sound samples available below) - released earlier this year on Imperium Productions - followed by the album, recorded between December 2010 and April 2011.