Charnel Valley - The Dark Archives (Paragon Records) - Back
Dedicating their debut release to Quorthon, we have yet another raw black metal ensemble known as Charnel Valley. This doesn't remind me of Bathory exactly, but more like early Burzum or Gorgoroth with intentions of being more thrash like that of Quorthon (RIP). This isn't that bad considering the genre because there is actually some decent musical quality beneath the terrible production. It is a crying shame not many will acknowledge their abilities because of that, except for maybe the diehard occultist. Funny thing is, this isn't really as raw as most of the bands of this kind out there. That may be why I don't mind Charnel Valley as much. The track "Demonic Science" has a very speedy & melodic riff that I've taken a liking to as well as "They Sleep in Open Graves", which reminds me of the very early Emperor (aka... without keys) with some of that US aggression that seeps out from time to time. The artwork is as raw as the music portrays or vice versa. It looks like the band's logo was drawn in about a minute in study hall or something. Needless to say, this is a much better debut than I expected.... (5 songs, 30 minutes)

Rating: 50

Reviewed By: Thomas Mitchell