Black Valor-Breaking Down Sanity
Within Ohio's active metal scene bands like Black Valor are starting to become more of the norm. Anymore it's simply not that much of a surprise to hear talented young bands find their own sound and excel at their craft. Not that we should take that for granted mind you. It's just a sign of the times when it comes to our state scene that bands like the 4-piece Black Valor are thriving and making a name for themselves. Remaining thankful for such a scene is a given as we must support the growth of local metal whether here in Ohio or elsewhere.With that as a means of introduction this 4-piece band (Ben - vocals/rhythm guitar, Jake - lead guitar/growls/screams, Laura - bass, and Steve - drums/harmonies/screams) who hail from the Cleveland/Akron are not perfect. There are few bands, local or national, that are though. Before we get to what the band needs to work on let's see what really sets the band apart talent-wise. On the band's full-length debut, "Breaking Down Sanity," the group opts to take their influences (Their Reverbnation page lists Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Bullet for My Valentine and Killswitch Engage as being of similar sound) and make them their own. Listener's will no doubt also pick up on trace amounts of Metallica (and other suitable bands within the thrash genre) or find Black Valor's music to be a hybrid of modern metal bands. Since ever band was, if we are to be honest, born out of a desire to emulate your heroes there is no fault to be found in Black Valor's approach. Especially when the pieces all seem to fit together rather snugly with only one minor complaint. To write reviews one must be honest and let the chips fall where they may-even if you do support your locate scene and want nothing more then for these young bands to find success. As such it must be stated that vocalist Ben Rubin remains the odd man out (with respect given to the band's female bass player Laura Settecase) as his vocals tend to be....well, more or less far too rough around the edges.With the rest of the band laying down seriously damaging rock (the rhythm section of drummer Steve Mikes and bassist Laura Settecasi is spot on and the lead guitar work from Jake Nicholson is superb) Ben's vocals stand out. It isn't all bad news though. As the album unfolds his voice becomes less of an issue as the music is more then capable of masking his vocal delivery. With an album like this Black Valor does have the ability to become more then local legends. If Ben was able to get a handle on how he delivers his lines (or possibly just stick to rhythm guitar riffs and snap up a better front-man) Black Valor could really be one of the rising stars of Ohio's scene. Despite the minor criticism "Breaking Down Sanity" is still a really good debut-album for the band and highly recommend for fans of Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine, Trivium and those of you who enjoy hard metal.
Official website http://www.blackvalorband.com