• John Van de Mergel

Sounds | Turpentine Valley, Trauma


De Belgische scene heeft zoveel moois waarvan slechts een fractie ons lijkt te bereiken. Helemaal over deze post-metallers gekeken, al had hun drummer mij de info bezorgd. Mea Culpa en we hopen dit bij deze wat recht te zetten, want méér dan verdiend. Trauma is zo'n typische instrumentale post-metal sleper die geleidelijk aan de intensiteit opbouwt en je bij de strot grijpt, zonder die verder toe te knijpen. Perfect gebalanceerd dus met de juiste emoties op de juiste momenten. Schitterend! Hun debuut album Etch verscheen op 1 november 2019 via Dunk!records



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Belgium based Turpentine Valley reduces its post-metal to purity, ‘etching’ it to the soul of anyone open to it. No words, massive sound. Hitting it hard. Layered guitars. Growling bass. Allowing music to tell its story: slow, intense, hard and relentless. Although its members already play together for more than half a lifetime, Turpentine Valley still could be called a rather young band, only seeing the light in 2016.

Releasing its debut album ‘Etch’ through Dunk!records on November 1st 2019 is the next step in spreading its instrumental post-metal ever since.


Turpentine Valley is: Kristof Balduyck – guitars I Thomas Maes – bass I Roel Berlaen – drums


- Etch - On their debut record, Belgium’s Turpentine Valley seeks to approach post-metal as purists, to drill down to the core of what makes this music move stylistically and conceptually, to find its heart and lock in step with its beat. Simplicity, patience and pacing colliding with power, density and unrelenting volume, this is the essence of post-metal. Add to that a dedication to exploring textures and building layers and enduring willingness to probe every inch of possibility in each refrain and Etch proves to be the kind of album that has consistently drawn curious and intrepid metal fans to this genre. Turpentine Valley takes a very literal approach to the album’s title, seeking to bring to the songs a kind of ethic representative of that word. An etching requires time and dedication, a labor of careful craftsmanship that yields a lasting impression; the band aims to reflect this idea in their songwriting and in turn create an etching on the hearts of listeners, a hard-won connection forged with wholeheartedness and commitment.

In showing their deep regard for post-metal, Turpentine Valley reveals relevant adjacent influences as well. Opening track “Abrupt” best demonstrates this, honoring Deftones and heavier Smashing Pumpkins as much if not more than obvious catalysts like Russian Circles or If These Trees Could Talk. It’s a crucial element, intermittently bringing a harmonious sensibility to balance with the more grim and unyielding motifs that characterize much of the record. Penultimate track “Trauma” provides a strong example, exhibiting all of the classic stylings fans have become accustomed to while also building gradually into a climactic refrain that pulls all the right emotional strings, a deft and subtle transition that presents a very natural progression while also shifting the tone of the song considerably from beginning to end.

Etch provides listeners all the important characteristics of an affecting post-metal record: it’s purposefully and impactfully downtempo, thoughtful yet ferocious, committed to compositional depth and a wide-open, deceptively simple sonic canvas, paying exacting attention to detail yet still adventurous. Using these seven songs as an indicator, Turpentine Valley promises to be a significant name on the post-metal landscape in the years to come.


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