A group of friends finished university in Bristol and quickly invested in better musical equipment following the new ‘djent’ movement. After recruiting a local vocalist and securing a musical direction, Valis Ablaze officially formed in September 2012.
That incarnation of the band toured the UK numerous times, released an EP and four new singles before having the inevitable line up changes that can occur when a band demands more from it’s members than they’re maybe able to give.
In favour of working on something far more applicable to a new dynamic finalised at the end of 2015, Valis scrapped a full, finished album right before its release.
In June 2016, the band began revealing their new aural and visual direction, in the shape of new artwork, quality videos and heightened production, scoring shows with Monuments, Area 11, Dead Letter Circus and eventually releasing the critically acclaimed EP, ‘Insularity’ on January the 30th, 2017.
An Insularity EP review by Simon Clark of The Monolith has also summed up Valis Ablaze’s time and new sound well:
“As the old saying goes, the only constant is change. Even so, the amount of change that has been seen in the Valis Ablaze camp since we first tagged them as ‘ones to watch’ back at the start of 2015 is notable. First triggered by the departure of their singularly theatrical vocalist Adam Leonard, a certain amount of change in direction was inevitable. He was then followed out of the door by guitarist Hugo Azvedo. Bassist Tom Moore then transferred to guitar which, for him, was always his primary instrument. The search for a new vocalist ended in the recruitment of Phil Owen, previously seen in action in Orion, and with the vacant bass slot filled by Kieran Hogarty, the new look Valis Ablaze sequestered themselves away to write Insularity.
Valis had already established a reputation for chunky, modern metal riffing that flirted around the edges of the thriving UK tech scene. Whilst this is still evident in the DNA of Insularity, they have also transformed into a much sleeker, shinier, song-focussed proposition.”*
“With the likes of TesseracT and Skyharbor leaving their metal roots further and further behind, there’s a gap in the market emerging for songs that marry the dreamy atmospherics and melodies with chunkier riffs, and Valis Ablaze are clearly stepping up to fill it with poise and confidence.
Its fair to say that we were expecting big things from Valis from the moment that we heard that Phil was joining the band. With Insularity, they have not only met these high expectations, but exceeded them. The future is bright.”
2017 is the year Valis Ablaze become many more people’s favourite band.