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Valles Doloris : Stricken

Valles Doloris, which is Latin for 'valley of grief', is an American one-man ambient project by Gavin Hurley. The music is made on a Yamaha 76 keyboard and as such cannot be considered doom metal. However, he is inspired by My Dying Bride, Pantheist and While Heaven Wept, as well as darkwavers like Dark Sanctuary and Elend. The end product is clearly in the vein of doom metal, despite the lack of any drums, string instruments or riffage.

From the Valles Doloris SoundClick page, I've found the information that when the page was last updated (in 2004), Gavin was looking to join a doom metal band as keyboardist or vocalist. Hence it comes as no surprise that the melodies here often fit better as intros or as part of more complex tracks or a Final Fantasy game. A few still stand out as quite good tracks on their own.

[edit by author: Gavin (under the moniker Count Tenebrae) founded an atmospheric doom metal band called Grove in 2005 together with his brother Moongun Wormwalk (I have no idea what his real name is). He also does vocals for the hardcore band Test Of Courage and a melodic punk band called As Summer Fades, synths for the gothic metal band Glass Midnight, and has a new solo electronica (read: synth) project called Room 36. He no longer mentions Valles Doloris anywhere so I assume this project is now dead.]

At the same time as the last update on the SoundClick entry, Gavin also offered a 14 track release for free to anyone interested, and I don't mean for free download, but a free copy of it. While this copy of 'Stricken' has 15 tracks, the entry also states that this demo is also his latest, and also the only one that he, to my knowledge, finished, so I assume they're both the same. In any case, I believe that a select few doomy darkwave fans might like this enough to want it. If so, then based on my own idea of good underground musical ethics, I'd still encourage you to give him a few bucks to support him.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Intro / Funeral Rain
2. Solitude Weeping
3. Love Despaired
4. Grieving Within Forest Embrace
5. An Autumn Grey
6. Desolate Prayers
7. Mid-Ocean Vast (An Interlude)
8. Ascension from the Grave
9. Over Meadow Hills
10. In Search of Hope
11. Cloudslumber
12. (Bonus Track)
13. (Bonus Track 2)
14. (Bonus Track 3)
15. (Bonus Track 4)

Duration : Approx. 43 minutes.

Visit the Valles Doloris bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Arnstein Petersen
Aesthetic Death
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