Overall Score: 7.5/10 Vocals: 8/10 Consistency: 7/10 Riffs: 7/10 Pros: Great vocals from both Ben and Si | Several standout tracks | Great riffs and breakdowns Cons: The album does lack originality
Over the past few years the British metalcore scene has become the strongest it’s ever been, with bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, While She Sleeps and Bury Tomorrow all delivering fantastic albums. The Valiant are one of the latest bands to emerge and with their debut album Empress Heights they demonstrate that they could be one of the next bands to break through in the British metalcore scene. What is immediately clear is that The Valiant take a similar attitude to Bury Tomorrow when it comes to metalcore, Empress Heights is very much a traditional melodic metalcore album but this is definitely not a bad thing.
Opening track Changes clearly sets the tone for the rest of the album, riff driven metalcore with big melodic choruses. The Valiant so a great balance between aggression and melody with guitarist Si Phillips vocals fitting perfectly alongside frontman Ben Byrne’s brutal screams. Empress Heights is an album full of songs that will really come into their own with riffs and breakdowns made for moshing to, especially on the albums title track. Following this, slower track In Memory Of shows more diversity to The Valiant’s songwriting before the albums lead single No Surrender kicks in and picks the albums pace back up with the albums most vicious breakdown.
While this straightforward approach to metalcore does lead to some great songs it’s a slight shame that The Valiant take so few risks on Empress Heights. Apart from In Memory Of, every track follows a similar sticks to a similar structure meaning the album does lack variety. This is the albums only real weakness though and for a debut album Empress Heights is a great starting point for The Valiant which shows a lot of promise. Despite a lack of originality Empress Heights is an album that remains consistently good throughout and there is plenty for any metalcore fan to enjoy. If The Valiant can keep this up then there could be big things to come from them in the next few years.
You can follow The Valiant on Twitter at @TheValiantBand.