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Valient Thorr - Stranger

Valient Thorr
Stranger
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 28 September 2010, 6:09 PM

The situation with VALIENT THORR is kind of easy to describe; five guys from North Carolina of the US play pumped up Heavy Metal with a nice twist of Stoner Rock. It is true that there is a vibe going on in this scene and the US is almost the best producing well. I say 'almost' because the Scandinavian and especially the Swedish scene has the lion's share in these releases producing -as always- a couple of great bands.

So, VALIENT THORR are releasing their fifth album two years after "Immortalizer". The music in "Stranger" is nothing to be surprised at, since it meets all the standards of the Stoner scene with all the virtues of Southern Rock. Hard hitting power chords, catchy almost MAIDEN-esque double guitar harmonies and the trademark beer drowned vocals that are the icing on cake. All the tracks here are straightforward hitting the listener with an in-your-face attitude and a nice groove to go with. What I found enticing in VALIENT THORR was the underlying Punk layer presented in songs like "Sleeper Awakes" with the catchy backing vocal lines, the simple chord pattern and the nice bass guitar work. Of course, the nice guitar solo and the "almost METALLICA's "Whiplash"" break has little to do with the Punk scene but it sounds really nice.

In fact, the aforementioned strange Punk/Stoner blend is what characterizes the music in "Stranger" that also features some vintage 70s finishing touches in the guitar leads that -I believe- make the entire package tempting for all the fans of this genre. It is true that this music/attitude is mostly for the fans and rarely touches the 'outsiders' who do not get the sometimes single-minded approach of the songs. And in some point one will find himself wondering whether one track is the same with another. Again, this is why this album is for the experienced listeners who can spot all the differences between similar releases and possibly enjoy the diversity in this one.

As for me, I have to say "pass" from listening the studio version of the songs but I am eager to give the band a second chance when VALIENT THORR are on stage. I am sure they will sound way better there.

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Gillionaire
  2. Sleeper Awakes
  3. Disappearer
  4. Double Crossed
  5. Night Terrors
  6. Sudden Death Is Nothing
  7. Woman In The Woods
  8. Vision Quest
  9. Habituary
  10. The Recognition
  11. Without Hope, Without Fear
  12. Future Humans
Lineup:
Valient Himself - Vocals
Eidan Thorr - Guitar
Voiden Thorr - Guitar
Dr. Professor Nitewolf Strangees - Bass
Lucian Thorr - Drums
Record Label: Volcom Entertainment
     


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