February 19, 2011

Valient Thorr - Stranger (2010)

I grabbed this album prior to its release when I saw VT on the Stranger tour. It is VT's 5th release, and it comes after a LONNNGGGGG 2 year wait since Immortalizer. I really got into VT on the Immortalizer tour, after seeing them by chance. I went to go see another band (Early Man), but the drummer ate some bad sushi and was shitting his brains out every 5 minutes, so they cancelled. VT was opening up for them, and played an extra long set that totally blew my mind. The energy of the band live is rivaled by almost nobody, and it is impossible to watch them and not act like you have 5 feet of hair that is screaming to be thrown around with hairnado's. The band hails from Venus (yes, the planet), and has been sent down to Earth to play metal and spread positive vibrations throughout the world.......How could you not love them.

Every release from VT has been very heavily influenced by bluegrass, metal, and punk. They have really made their own style, and its amazing. Their latest album Stranger is sort of a departure from their sound, with a lot more influence from metal, and stoner rock. I really like it. It seems as if they listened to Thin Lizzy a lot in the past two years, because the amount of dueling guitars is overwhelming, and I embrace it with open ears. There are some songs of the album that I wish were more organized and flowed better, but what they lack sonically, is made up with ironic subject matter and comedic lyrics. The singer, Valient Himself, isn't a great singer, but he is one of the most amazing frontmen I have ever seen, and even in the album you can feel the energy that he exudes. I don't think that there are any low points in the record, but some of the songs are a bit too uneven. Its doesn't really become that apparent until you hear one of the songs that are spot on. 'Sleeper Awakes', 'Double Crossed', and 'Sudden Death is Nothing' are spot on headbanging songs that all have great intro's, heavy riffs, and shredding solo's. My favorite track on the album, 'Night Terrors' starts with a reverb turned to 11 intro, and kicks your ass into gear. Valient Himself's vocals sound great with quick sudden spats of lyrics compliment the southern rock style that shines through in the track. The song really takes a turn for the solo, and gets really stoney that has dual guitars to only accentuate the solo which sounds amazing. After the acid trip solo, VT kicks your ass into gear again and finishes the song with me wanting more. I think the album as a whole is great, and I actually like it better than Immortalizer. It doesn't have a single that really blew my mind, but as an album, I like it the most of their releases, and think that we can only look forward to great things in the future.

Currently they are opening up for Motorhead on a U.S Tour that would be stupid to miss. I have seen VT everytime they are in SF since seeing them 2 years ago. If you like to sit and chill, not the show for you. The show will guarantee record beer sales for the venue, post-show whiplash, and most likely a "Boat-Row party" during 'Night Terrors' courtesy of Valient Himself. Gotta go check it out, Earthlings.


Nightrain said...

Dude! JD! The guy in the green tank playing the mini Flying V kinda looks like you.

Sweet post.