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Indus Valley Kings – Indus Valley Kings

Indus Valley Kings
Indus Valley Kings
by Gary Hernandez at 26 April 2021, 11:45 PM

Reviewing metal music is like getting a graduate degree in history, occultism, philosophy, and social issues. Today’s lesson takes us back to the bronze age, roughly 2600 to 1900 BCE, and to northwestern regions of South Asia. The location is Indus Valley where the largest civilization in the region flourished, fueled by ambition and invention. . . and declined, consumed by the desert and heat. Fast forward several thousand years. Today the region is made up of large swathes of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. The memory of the ancient civilization, and all the bullshittery they got up to, is kept alive by a band out of Long Island, New York called INDUS VALLEY KINGS.

INDUS VALLEY KINGS is a Stoner Metal power trio. They formed in 2018 and released their debut, self-titled alum on January 22, 2021. It is nine tracks and forty-eight minutes of killer riffs and groovy solos, bone-rattling bass and throttling drums, and clean, well-harmonized vocals. Lyrically, the band stays true to its moniker, sifting through an assortment of themes related to said civilization. Across the album we witness the inception of a people and kingdom with “Angel”; then the building of a nation out of sand with “Cactus People”; and finally, the gradual but inevitable demise with “Rest in Waste.” And while the lyrics may have clear historical references, they are also relevant to today. “Remains of Yesterday” could be the theme song for 2020 and “Scapegoat” covers a timeless premise.

The best thing about this band is their expertise. As a trio, they aren’t stepping all over each other, musically speaking, and no one is hiding behind walls of distortion or layered synthesizers. When the solos hit, there is no over-dubbed rhythm guitar — just bass, drums, and soaring melodies. And the rhythm section is as tight as heat on asphalt.

Standout tracks are many. My favs are “Angels,” “Remains of Yesterday,” “Devil,” “Scapegoat,” and “Phoenix.” For fans of Doom Metal, the final two tracks, “Rest in Waste” and “1000 Wicked Souls,” will rate high. For Sabbath fans, there is a section about mid-way through “1000 Wicked Souls” where the band shifts into an interlude reminiscent of the interlude in “Snowblind.” Just had to call it out because it haunted me an hour or so before I could pin it.

Altogether, this debut album for INDUS VALLEY KINGS is a hellavu kick-off. As you can probably imagine, all of the band members have previous pedigrees in the scene. You don’t just put together an album this good right out of the blue. These boys have paid their dues and it shows. Looking forward to seeing how this band shapes up over the next few years.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Angels
2.  Cactus People
3.  The Method
4.  Remains of Yesterday
5.  Devil
6.  Phoenix
7.  Scapegoat
8.  Rest in Waste
9.  1000 Wicked Souls
Lineup:
Billy Fridrich – Guitars, vocals
Dan Lofaro – Drums
Jonathan Lesley Habers – Bass, vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 14 May 2021
 

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