Valient Thorr - Legend of the World (CD)
Give this record a chance if you like heavy rock with dual lead guitars (sometimes a la Thin Lizzy), weird/funny lyrical concepts and aren't put off by yelling vocals. Worth checking out.
The music is the perfect soundtrack for a party. It blends metal, southern rock, stoner rock and classic rock into a grungy amalgamation of Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, MC5, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Nashville Pussy. Thick guitars and catchy riffs are topped with Valient Himself's raspy, raw vocals. Valient Thorr is a band that's very politically aware, but is also able to have a good time.
Valient Thorr get in your face on Legend of the World – but not to provoke. Instead they make just enough noise to make you take notice and listen to what they have to say. An equal combination of Southern rock like Lynyrd Skynyrd and strong instrumentation reminiscent of Motorhead’s nonstop rhythms and ZZ Top’s solid guitar licks, Valient Thorr’s Legend of the World is a political message that knows how to party.
Valkyrie - Self Titled (Re-issue) (CD)
Kelly Carmichael of Internal Void guests on "Eternally There".
I first heard of this Harrisonburg, VA outfit with their Sunlight Shines EP, a three-song collection of some of the finest Pentagram by way of Hawkwind doom out there. Unlike a good number of their doom contemporaries, Valkyrie guitarists Pete and Jake Adams aren’t afraid to lay down some serious soloing. It seems like every song is aching to explode with some harmonized leads or some back and forth dueling. Valkyrie is doom with oomph, providing the dour vibe but never getting bogged down in plodding riffs. This is an impressive debut. I could see these guys on a tour with the likes of The Hidden Hand and Earthride and holding their own. Great stuff (especially the solos).
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Valkyrie - Shadows (CD)
Harkening back to both the sludgy beginnings of Black Sabbath and the double-tracked guitar days of Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, Virginia classic metal enthusiasts Valkyrie have made one of the year's more enjoyable hard-rock records with third album Shadows. Full of majestic shredding and thunderous drums — and even some "Crazy Train"-esque vibraslap on opener "Mountain Stomp" -- the set is driven by the dueling axes of brothers Jake and Pete Adams, the latter also a member of the similarly righteous progressive metal act Baroness. It's an album worthy of its obvious touchstones, and one that at seven tracks wisely keeps to single-LP brevity.
Valley of the Sun - Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk (IMPORT) (CD)
Valley of the Sun are from Cincinnati, which helps to explain the energetic edge in this excellent collection of songs in the key of head rush, Signed to the Truckfighters personal label, Bassist Ryan McAllister, Guitarist Ryan Ferrier and drummer Aaron Boyer, power trio their way through 10 tracks with a case of Stage 4 Kyuss - Monster Magnet infectiousness.
Valley Of The Sun - Volume Rock (IMPORT) (CD)
Volume Rock. Of all the words in the English language that could be drawn upon to illustrate the sheer sound and substance of Cincinnati’s Valley Of The Sun, you’d be hard pressed to find two better. Picking up directly where they left off on last year’s Electric Talons Of The Thunderhawk, the Queen City rockers are back in 2016 with a brand new album on Sweden’s formidable Fuzzorama Records.
Volume Rock is the culmination of the band’s determination and ability to not only write and record great rock songs, but also their drive and ambition to become one of the best bands to emerge from the underground. As The Obelisk proclaimed as early as 2011, “There’s no question that Valley Of The Sun are placing themselves at the forefront of the new generation of American heavy rock.”
Valley, The - Self Titled (CD EP)
This Seattle trio brings upbeat and bombastic energy to the table they call rock. This is good pop sensibility with the love of a Big Muff pedal. The Valley is most influenced by early Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, and Mudhoney. I really cannot stress enough the energy this release exudes. It just never lets up and there is this perfect marriage of sing along melodies and fuzzy riffs. The production is great too, with a very live feeling. The bass sound is pretty mean, with some great fuzz as well. If you’re looking for soaring melodies with some warm fuzz, then look no further. The Valley is full of energy and never gives you time to take a breath. You’ve come to the right place to rock.
The band’s heavy distortion, heavy guitars and heavy drums are balanced by melodic songs and catchy vocals. With equal parts grunge and pop punk, the Valley blend two styles I love, but rarely find together.
Their fuzz-heavy sound hits a couple early ’90s cornerstones, from the atmospheric dips and swells of bands like Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine to the lighter sludge of the early Sub Pop catalog. The band places pop overtones in otherwise heavily textured rock.
Vancouver - The Moment (CD)
Debut record from Switzerland's Vancouver featuring members of Unfold, Impure Wilhelmina and Iscariote. This ephemeral musical project plays angry sludgecore beyond all realms of heaviness in the vein of Keelhaul, Knut and Cult of Luna.
Yes, they might be writing music that Isis and Cult of Luna write, but they don’t write the same exact songs. It’s their take on the genre and the specific songs contained on The Moment that makes this album beautiful and captivating. Most importantly they manage to accomplish what most of the bands thrive to do – create the mood, take you into it and keep you with every swing. The first few numbers on the album merely showcase the band’s artistic style, but it’s the later combination of songs that revealed more substance of the album. The combination is almost formulaic – slow, atmospheric meditations of ambient sound followed by rough and desperate heavy hitters with insane vocals. It can work wonders, especially when you reach “Exosphere,” a track that made me stop whatever I was doing at the moment and pay full attention to the further progression of the album. For that moment that’s all my mind was preoccupied with - the sound.
Various Artists - ...And Back to Earth Again. Ten Years of MeteorCity (3CD)
This is a gorgeous 3CD Box Set featuring deluxe packaging and a 40 page booklet! All 45 tracks are fully remastered for optimal sound quality and heaviness! A lot of these tracks are very rare nowadays or were never actually released before now!
Celebrating ten years of riff-rock and stoner-metal, ...And Back to Earth Again: Ten Years of MeteorCity is a three-CD retrospective from MeteorCity's founders as they prepare to depart the label. The oversize custom package contains forty-five fully remastered tracks, including previously out-of-print material and a few new surprises, along with extensive liner notes and rare photos commemorating MeteorCity's first decade at the forefront of the heavy rock underground.
Various Artists - Best of James Marshall Hendrix (CD)
The Best of James Marshall Hendrix.
A 7-track compilation, The Best of James Marshall Hendrix, with covers of the best known songs by Jimi, with contributions from Child, Elephant Tree, Geezer, Rosy Finch, Stubb, and Wo Fat.
All-in-all, a beautiful tribute to the legacy of a highly influential figure in the development, heart and soul of psychedelic, stoner rock. A must-have for fans of Hendrix.