Like tasting a well cooked food with strong seasoning and right amount of spices, it leaves you with a certain good impression and the eagerness to come back for more. That's exactly my initial thought when I heard Athens-based metal act, Valet Parn's debut, "Riddle Figure". This album is so full of different nuances, either with elements from the past or the current trend, Valet Parn is a genius chef that can balancely combines progressive metal, American groove/power metal, and melodic metalcore into one plate.
After passing the 2.22 minutes intro, "Fabel", Valet Parn takes you high with the fast-paced blasting rhythm from Canavari's drumset and Venardo's soaring vocal in "Morpheus Fever". If Dream Theater asks Shadows Fall to jam an original song together in one stage, this song can be their hit. The title track sounds very metalcore, less prog but more melodic, especially on the verse. Both are my fave, along with "Neverland", that started close to the usual 4/4 tempo before Canavari twists the time signature with his rich fills that somehow reminds me of Chris Adler; and "Till We Rise", which I personally think is their masterpiece. Emmanuel and Haursen bring astonishing riffs and piercing solos, emerged as the highlight of this song, not to mention the beautiful melodies crafted nicely in a very tight composition, well done boys!
Funny thing is that "Fear The Bullet" and "Dark Room Conjuror" seem to be their leading singles but somehow I think both songs are pale and the weak points of the album. They showed a blood-soaked technical rage, check out those insane instruments handling, that I'd agree, but the songs just didn't do much for me. I humbly think "Blindfall" and the closing track, "Valetine's Night" are better.
The originality they have here is the winning factor of "Riddle Figure" and this is a crowning moment for George Canavari, the man of the record, his drum skill demonstration is fearsome and invigorating, though I think the rest of the band perform an above-average musicianship, it's Canavari that scored big time. Enhancing the already good and solid work is definitely a must for them, I highly expect a better album in the future, but fans of prog/groove/metalcore definitely must check this beast out as soon as possible.