The Val

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Review Type: 

Madrid (Spain), somewhere in 2010...Gabriella de Val (vocals), Alfonso Samos (guitar), and Davic Erick Criado (keyboards), whom had formerly been in a band together, meet again after a long time for a meal. Memories were rekindled, common grounds found again...and as a result the three of 'em decided to go on with the Melodic Rock project they had begun back in the days.

The three collaborating closely, a collection of tracks were composed almost spontaneously, and Gabrielle (who's actually of German origins) wrote the lyrics in English, as that's how the project was conceived. Soon enough, the threesome was recording the tracks in Samos' own Samos Studio, with Samos not only playing all guitars (electric as well as the occasional acoustic), but also the bass tracks, drums, and additional programming, as well as sharing in the background vocals (as did the others). The resulting recordings were then sent to Joe Gastwirt (of Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix fame, among other) for mastering. Next up, the core trio went in search for the necessary musicians in order to make for a full-fledged band, and the possibility to bring the music onto the Spanish stages. Well, apparently all they needed to do was to call on Alex Morell (bass), Mario Carrión (drums) and Isabel Cristóbal (backing vocals) to complete the line-up, which premiered the band's material on a Madrid stage in December 2010.

February 2011 then saw the album being brought to the Spanish audiences through such big outlets as Media Markt, Fnac, El Corte Inglés, and more, as well as online digital stores throughout the world. August 2011 saw the release of the band's debut official video clip for the track “The Age Of The Sun” (the album's closing track) to moderately great success, mainly in Spain and Germany (the band's been included in the main music television shows, radios and some magazines, and soon gained the #1 position in the ReverbNation list for Rock-Madrid, and charted among the highest places in Spain's general music lists). The band went on to be a regular player in some of the more popular Madrid venues, as well as performing at the town's Rock & Roll Marathon in May of last, and playing in the better venues of several other Spanish cities such as Barcelona, Sevilla, and Salamanca...with very positive criticism from local press and radio presenters alike. The band is now reaching for playing possibilities outside the confines of the Iberian peninsula...and what better way than to reach out to the TSM/ SLW Promotion Agency...with it's contacts all over Europe (and beyond!)?

So, what does the band offer? Expect a very nice keyboard-supported/driven Melodic Rock with attention lead parts for both keyboards ànd guitar. Quite frankly, the songs' melodies are catchy, and the harmonic backing vocals invite to sing-alongs after only a couple of listening sessions. As mentioned in the review done by TSM''s own Nicky Baldrian (whom is also a writer for UK's Fireworks Magazine), Gabrielle “...has a silky woven voice...”, in which he hears “ many different singers within her vocal reach, most notably Carol Decker from T'Pau mixed with Romeos Daughter front lady Leight Matty...”! Of course, him being a specialist writer in the genre, I rely on his judgement as far as that's concerned...but I disagree when he mentions Gabrielle to have “...a huge wide-ranging voice...”. In fact, his more detailed description of her voice contradicts that! Personally, I have to say that originally, I originally found some defaults in the lady's pronunciation, which was not quite perfect English, but had an indescribable slight accent. Having to talk Spanish in her current living place, while having German origins...that somehow might explain things. Still, after the multiple listening sessions I gave the album prior to, and while writing this review, have made me accept her voice for what it is. So, meanwhile I completely agree with Baldrian's assessment of the album, whom placed it as “...a good quality release...”!

For music/ more info, check one or more of the band's Internet sites : (www.); (www.); (www.) You can also find the band at (www.) and (http://) Don't forget to also check (www.)