Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

29 guests

Welcome to our newest member, willtravers

Valley of the Sun – The Chariot Award winner

Valley of the Sun
The Chariot
by Gary Hernandez at 18 June 2022, 8:16 PM

I took a way back trip today. To 2010 and a little-known EP entitled “Two Thousand Ten.” I wanted to measure how much VALLEY OF THE SUN has grown since October 2, 2010 when they dropped that debut EP to June 17, 2022 when they released their fourth full-length album, “The Chariot.” But how do you measure growth? Do you use metrics of time, distance, weight, volume? How do you measure expertise, talent, spirit?

As one might expect, the VALLEY OF THE SUN of 2022 is not the same VALLEY OF THE SUN of 2010. There have been lineup changes, a crap load of tours, a short progression of labels. Contextually, so much has happened in the Hard Rock scene not to mention socio-political upheavals nationally and globally, wars and rumors of wars, and even a pandemic. How do measure growth against that backdrop? Fuck, I don’t know. What I do know is for 12 years, from “Centaur Radio” to “Colosseum,VALLEY OF THE SUN has consistently cranked out top-quality Stoner Rock with a biting edge of Metal. "The Chariot" is quite possibly their best effort to date.

The Chariot” kicks off at full throttle with “Sweet Sand.” The keen likeness to SOUNDGARDEN stuck me as a bitter-sweet homage—like sand and time and recalling the hero we lost. And while Ryan Ferrier will never be a Chris Cornell (there can only be one), he is still one hell of a vocalist. If you want to measure some growth, Ferrier’s vocal capacity has done nothing but expand in strength and depth over the last 12 years. This fact is hammered home in the second track, “Images.” This song reaches sheer epic heights. If it doesn’t stir your soul, you might need to let up on the Black Metal and get some sun.

I don’t want to do a track-by-track review here, so I’ll jump around a bit. The title track, “The Chariot,” hits at almost mid-point of the album. The band also released a supporting video (below). You can’t help but to see the parallel between the band’s literal journey (via tours) and their figurative journey (via time and experience). The coolest thing is that amongst all the craziness we have seen in the world, these guys still see the best of it all: “We’ll leave our worries and our fears back there / A brighter future still untold.” This optimism is prevalent throughout the album, spiritually mirroring the cover art—a brilliant, golden sun silhouetting an emboldened warrior drawn forward in his chariot by ferocious hellcats. And as strong as “The Chariot” is, it's formidably rivaled by “Running Out of Love.” Even though it is the longest track on the album, you won’t want it to end.

Though decidedly Heavy Stoner Rock, the album offers a fair amount of diversity. If you’re looking for the blues, “As We Decay” and “The Flood” will satisfy your itch. For hard-driving rock, “Headlights” and “Sunblind.” And if eclectic is your bag, “Devil I’ve Become” starts with a Prog-infused intro then veers straight into face melting grooves before takings a pitstop in Doom before clawing back into a molten variation of the intro.

VALLEY OF THE SUN remind me a lot of CLUTCH—you just shake your head and wonder what is up with a world where bands like this aren’t dominating the music consciousness of the planet. But then again, I kind of like having VALLEY OF THE SUN as my own personal treasure. When people ask me where all the good music has gone, I put on some VALLEY OF THE SUN and watch heads explode.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Sweet Sands
2. Images
3. Devil I've Become
4. The Chariot
5. Headlights
6. As We Decay
7. Running Out of Love
8. Sunblind
9. The Flood
10. Colosseum
Ryan Ferrier – Vox, guitar
Josh Pilot – Guitar
Chris Sweeney – Bass, keys
Lex Vegas – Drums
Record Label: Ripple Music and Fuzzorama Records


You do not have permission to rate
Edited 01 December 2022

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green