Inchoate

An Album By

Valaska

Review by

Listen now

Review of: Inchoate
Album by:
Valaska

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On August 29, 2016
Last modified:August 29, 2016

Summary:

Breaking the cycle of the album-every-two-year turnaround, ambient acoustic artist Valaska is back with the recent release of Inchoate following only a year after the very different Thing. This album is a unique creation; multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Dave Valdez breathes an illustrious and curious life into each of the songs on this LP. His generally narrow vocal range resonates in a comfortable and familiar way. In fact, listening to Inchoate sort of feels like returning somewhere you belong by way of a quiet dirt road at twilight.

The balance of mostly acoustic instruments and quiet, breathy vocals is favored by piano loops accompanied by delicately chosen guitar riffs. However, when Valdez allows for the showboating of his unexpectedly gifted voice, songs like “Sun Dogs” and “Violence” take on a new, quaint life of their own. The tracks on the work, Valaska’s third full-length album, not occupied by a strong vocal presence often have a contemplative essence and are as soothing as they are mysterious (see “Human Condition” and “Sad Bones”).

As a whole, Inchoate is creatively nostalgic. However, it does have a nouveau presence that jives well with this throwback feel. Together, these tendencies create something that feels as if it has never been done before. As largely self-deprecating it may be, it is a passable soundtrack to life in the metaphorical minor key. With its undeniable meditative undertone, “Hold Me Back” is the poster child for the album, with a close runner up in the predominantly instrumental “Vessel.”

The name may suggest a slightly haphazard product by definition. But, after a spin, it’s clear the name is tapped from another source. It seems to be driven by internal inventory and a brutally honest confession of an incomplete heart. Yet, by the end of this twisting tale of a learned life, all that remains is a desire for more of the same. If that isn’t the ultimate truth of a new record, I don’t know what is.

Features

Atreyu- 2021

Atreyu's Baptism

At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.

By

Photo by Ashley Osborn

Full Feature
Gaerea

Trapped in Limbo

Black metal may not be the first thing on your mind when you think of Portugal, but GAEREA is here to change that. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt sat down with GAEREA to discuss the band’s music, their mysterious name and image, and how office work can be art.

By

Full Feature
Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.

By

Full Feature
All Features