Bart M. : I had to ask around for a while before I had found someone who owned and was willing to lend me his cassette player, but once I got that taken care of I was itching to put in and listen to the tape I had been sent. Not because I was already familiar with Turpentine Valley; quite the contrary, this here tape was the first thing I ever heard of these Belgian gentlemen. It was just because I found it exciting to be doing this again after a gazillion years. The choice to release their debut album on tape was a very conscious one: back to basics.
And back to basics is also the thing they want to convey through their music, by using just the drums, the bass and the guitar. No vocals, just the instruments who weave tales and create atmosphere. Six songs, some being lengthier than others, that all fall safely within the post metal genre. The album starts off with 'Abrupt' using a familiar guitar sound that is joined by more instrumentation as we progress further into the song. And even though that formula is not unique it managed to instantly touch me and I felt like sitting down and just let this album wash over me as I dove into heavy cruncher 'Compromis'. This song also has some of the familiar build-up elements of this genre and Turpentine Valley shows they are very much capable of painting soundscapes for the mind. They manage to do this with enthusiasm on every song, using heavy, slow passages and....well, heavy and fast passages.
I generally associate post metal with processing the darker and more hurtful aspects and experiences of life, and Turpentine Valley is no exception to this. They know how to move the heartstrings in an intimate way and will leave you behind feeling like you have just walked through a refreshing, cleansing rain shower.