VALIENT THORR - One look at the above headline for this Valient Thorr - Stranger album pretty much says it all. Or does it? Well, the headline probably could suffice with most Old School Metalheads who don’t give a crap about details… an album is supposed to just deliver the Heavy Music goods and be done with it. Have no fear fellow Metalheads, party freaks, moshers, space travelers, Punks, Thrashers and Old Schoolers… Valient Thorr does deliver something for all of you with Stranger. This is Valient Thorr’s fifth album in seven years, releasing September 14th on Volcom Entertainment. With nearly 250 shows a year for most of this run, touring with everyone from Motorhead to Joan Jett, Valient Thorr has certainly proven they are a knuckles pounding the pavement, no bullshit band with those numbers.
Years ago, I mean decades ago, when the cool word floating around was “crossover”, with bands such as D.R.I. and M.O.D. and to an extent Anthrax, they were taking a little bit of every Hard & Heavy genre out there and incorporating it into their very own sound. Valient Thorr doesn’t just have shades and influences of just about every cool music genre in the history of modern day Rock ‘N’ Roll. This Universe exploring band is potently stocked with all of the hell raising, fist pumping, shot-gun beer swilling and garbage can kicking qualities one could only wish for… and then some. Valient Thorr knows how to play some kick ass music.
Is it appropriate for me to state that Valient Thorr has created a “funtastic” album with Stranger? You bet it is. You see, as I listen to the music, (lyrics aside), of Valient Thorr, it makes me feel like jumping right into this album and being a part of the whole damn scene that is going on within these songs. Lyrically, these songs are not just about chugging down a beer and playing darts. Valient Thorr has something to say and they are more than psyched-out to get their point across.
Escapism is a necessity for me and I seek it out through music, through Rock ‘N’ Roll, um, Metal. Hitching a ride on the escapism Space Shuttle that Valient Thorr is navigating is one hell of a trip. I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t need his steak “cooked to perfection”, in other words, I sometimes like ‘em raw. Valient Thorr is spreading their raw talent and raw sound across this globe for good reason… to one day hopefully make all those Kidz Bop CD’s disintegrate into millions of pieces, from the sheer presence of this band’s musical existence.
Plus, Valient Thorr is no slouch band either, fans of Heavy Music will either connect with their sound or run for cover. If running for cover is the option one chooses, then they should make sure to bring along a case of laxatives with them… cause they are obviously chronically constipated. Gillionaire is a wake up call to the materialistic morons of Planet Earth and I can only second Valient Thorr’s strong and resounding message they convey here. Oh, yeah… Gillionaire Rocks with plenty of pent-up attitude and blue collar angst that makes the vibe thrive, through every note.
Sleeper Awakes is even more attitude laced with gang vocals aplenty and scorching guitar leads, with a searing guitar solo that fortifies my hunger for… Metal. Disappearer mixes some speed, speed and more speed with it’s overall… speed. Metal be thy name does Disappearer grab my damn attention and smacks it senseless. Double Crossed has some wholesome Old School rhythm and does not shy away from being guitar friendly. Riffs and solos abound on Double Crossed that semi-convinced me it was 1984 all over again. “You will pay, I’ve just been double crossed” might very well be my #1 Metal chorus of 2010… and beyond.
The more I listen to Stranger, the more I wonder if the members of Valient Thorr were born on Planet Lemmy Kilmister. Why I think that you query? It’s the I don’t give a shit – take our Rock ‘N’ Roll or bust attitude that Valient Thorr radiates so, um, eloquently. Sudden Death Is Nothing is kinda easy for me to point at and declare as my favorite song on Stranger. Whoa… it’s the blitz of Thrash that races unapologetically straight into my ears, that makes Sudden Death Is Nothing so damn memorable.
Woman In The Woods is for all Metal intents and purposes… eerie… and I like that. The guitar tones and even the tempo shifts are haunting. Is there really anything that Valient Thorr doesn’t experiment with musically? Maybe Kidz Bop. “Vision Quest” is relevant Metal, while also being a reminder that Old School Metal never dies. I catch onto some late 80′s Anthrax vibration while listening to “Vision Quest” and “Habituary”, both with the Metal, gang vocals and vocals of Valient Himself.
It would be a dream come true to have Valient Thorr play at one or both of my daughters weddings someday. Hell, it would be the best damn music to ever invade my ears at a wedding for Metal sakes. Throw in the Metal fact this band is just down right contagious, with their free spirited attitude towards Heavy Music and yes Virginia… there is a Thorrior Claus. Valient Thorr would tear the roof off of a wedding hall and I would want to be there to witness it. Um, I wouldn’t want to pay for the damage though.
One final song to mention, “Future Humans” might be a spine-chilling look into the future of mankind, regardless, this song freakin’ Rocks like there is no weekend, um, I mean tomorrow. It’s the thunder stomping beat and guitar driven nature of “Future Humans”, that makes me want to jump up and down on the hood of a pristine limousine, parked outside of a five-star restaurant. Metal be thy name.
Valient Thorr is a band that is difficult not to admire and gravitate to. They are a gritty working man’s Heavy Music band that should really gain some major Metal momentum with the release of Stranger on September 14th. Fans of NWOBHM, Old School/Traditional Metal, Hard Rock and well… any Metal, should hopefully dig Valient Thorr like I do. This band already has some fiery momentum happening already, it’s just the thought of them gaining legions more Thorriors worldwide and galaxy wide that makes me sleep better at night. I’m now a Thorrior… and it serves me right.
Valient Himself – vocals
Eidan Thorr – guitars
Nitewolf – bass
Sadat Thorr – guitars
Lucian Thorr – drums & percussion
* Stranger is set to release on September 14, 2010, on Volcom Entertainment.
* Stranger is produced, recorded and mixed by Jack Endino.
* For more info on Valient Thorr, just click on the links below:
Track Listing For Valient Thorr – Stranger:
Sudden Death Is Nothing
Woman In The Woods
Without Hope, Without Fear
Thorriors Of The Galaxy Assemble!