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Principe Valiente – ‘Barricades’

Metropolis Records
The Mission, Editors, Fields of the Nephilim, The Horrors
Release Date
Metropolis Records
Alternative/Gothic Rock/Post Punk

It came as something of a pleasant surprise for this album to land in my lap; Principe Valiente are a band where I’ve only heard the occasional song, thoroughly enjoyed them, but for some unknown reason never dived down into their catalogue. Maybe I just wasn’t ready? “Barricades” is the Swedish quartet’s fourth proper full-length album, listening to it on repeat, along with the three excellent predecessors has been a musical journey of discovery; a “Damn, why didn’t I pay attention to these guys before” moment.

Something about the sonic universe they inhabit is difficult to pin down, and add to that each album has a unique, and very subtle take on how the instrumentation and arrangements work. “Barricades” has its own signature; even though song to song it is engagingly diverse. One moment the intro has you double guessing yourself that Elizabeth Frazier is absolutely certain to start singing, next one up you’re expecting Peter Steele or Andrew Eldritch. What is certain though, this is a group with sharp focus on each and every song, honing and perfecting them to create not just the sound, but the “feel”.

Above all though, this is a coalescence of some really great songs to create an atmospheric record to leave in your car’s CD player for weeks and weeks on end. You’re not going to walk away from this album drenched in sweat, mostly deaf, and wanting to burn down churches; this is a truly sumptuous interpretation of the sweet-spot where Post-punk and Alternative and Gothic all meet in a glorious union. Between you and me, it’s a bit of a masterpiece.

"A subtly gothic take on post-Punk and mature Alt Rock that is simply a delight"

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