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Valyear – Revolution Fear Award winner

Valyear
Revolution Fear
by Alex Barnard at 28 September 2021, 9:55 PM

VALYEAR is a Hard Rock/Alternative Metal band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “Revolution Fear” is the group’s debut album, released by WormHoleDeath on July 19, 2021.

My first thought when I heard this album was, “this is how you make a Hard Rock album.” The lyrics aren’t clichéd, the singer isn’t whining about the way the world is today, and the riffs hit hard. Front man Chad Valyer sings with the combined emotional conviction of Layne Staley, the melodic grit of Chester Bennington, and the punk rage of Greg Puciato (“Beneath the Machine”). Geoff Wilson is a true riff master whose style is akin to guitar heroes like Jerry Cantrell, Ty Tabor of KING’S X, and even (dare I say) the Almighty Tony Iommi (“Feed my Pain”). And, last but not least, Joe Petralia and Nick Mavroukas gel together as a tight rhythm section, rivaling the greats like AC/DC’s Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd.

Again, I need to stress how important it is that these guys sound way better than any Hard Rock band I've had to review so far. When I hear groups repeating tired musical formulas instead of trying something new, it's disheartening – especially when it’s a genre I love! It doesn't make me feel good to give Hard Rock bands a bad review, but I have to do it when the creativity is clearly lacking. Not only did this album meet my high expectations, but it exceeded them. I found myself singing along to certain songs, which I haven’t done to any songs off of any album I’ve had to review yet. And yet, I couldn’t stop myself from screaming, “Like a Zombie/Rotten to the Core,” at the top of my lungs (“Like A Zombie”). A lot of groups say, “we’re the band that’s going to prove Rock isn’t dead,” in their press releases, but no band actually made me feel like Rock even had a pulse anymore before I heard VALYEAR.

Other highlights from this album include “Dirty,” which has another very catchy chorus; “I Hate Your Face,” which, despite its juvenile title, is super heavy and extremely aggressive; and “Rise Your Enemy,” which has, in my opinion, the coolest riffs on the whole album. It’s impossible to not bang your head to every song on this record!

Overall, this is definitely going on my list of the best albums of 2021. The production is superb, the band sounds great together, and what a tracklist! All of you Hard Rock bands that I reviewed earlier this year, take notes. This is how you do a modern Rock album.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Production: 9
Memorability: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Beneath the Machine
2. Feed My Pain
3. Dirty
4. Like a Zombie
5. Hit the Ground
6. Fall Too Far
7. I Hate Your Face
8. Rise Your Enemy
9. Screams (Live at the Atria)
Lineup:
Chad Valyer - Vocals
Geoff Wilson - Guitars
Joe Petralia - Bass
Nick Mavroukas - Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Records
     


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