The promise shown from Germany’s Time, The Valuator on 2016’s ‘Elusive Reasons’ has not only been delivered, but surpassed with ‘How Fleeting, How Fragile’, the band’s debut studio album.
From opener ‘Terminus’, we’re given a presentation of every popular metal subgenre of the past twenty years. From the off kilter riffs present in the introduction all the way to rapped vocals found in its bridge, the band encompasses a flavour of each tied up in their djent-esque style.
The use of melody in this album is unrelenting; every track displays at least five different hooks for us to indulge in. This is due to the craftsmanship involved, whether it’s overlapping countermelodies found in ‘Fugitive’, or the battle for attention in ‘In Control’ courtesy of a guitar solo overlapping its chorus.
The magnitude of influences is vast, ranging from the jazz led ‘Heritage’ to the keyboard solo that’s let loose on ‘Starseeker’. Whilst it seems as though may distract from the album, every element is glued together by the flawless drum work courtesy of Cedric Dreyszas.
Throughout the record the ambition of the band doesn’t falter; and Phil Bayer‘s vocal range is consistently impressive. With soaring vocals on the choruses, a comprehensive aspect is given to each song regardless of if it’s coupled with the chaotic riffs of ‘Onryo’ or the spacious harmonies in ‘Cloud City’.
Even though progressive metal is a direct influence for the group, which is clearly no more evident than in lead single ‘Elusive Reasons’, the breakneck changes found in the likes of ‘The Violent Sound’ elude to an experiment involving classical form.
The nature of the album allows the group to add density to the sonic landscape, which comes in the form of ambient elements. By using electronic instrumentation to weave the tracks together the album creates a cinematic experience for the audience.
Closer ‘How Fragile’ gives insight to the motivation of such a dynamically rich record; the lyrical coda of “How fleeting is a moment in time?” highlighting the band’s desire to use every second of the album’s runtime effectively.
By capitalising on this mentality not only have Time, The Valuator made an exceptional debut album, but one that will without question influence their peers.
A short guy, loves all genres, still believes it’s 2005. Watches too much TV.