Valient Thorr - Immortalizer

Volcom Entertainment
Produced by Jack Endino

Always be wary of bands with silly names and childish back stories. Valient Thorr are one of these, attempting to build on their basic North Carolina roots with a ridiculous tale of time travel based on a conspiracy theory.

Their name and logo would perhaps suggest Valient Thorr are going to offer some kind of modern take on the classic metal format. Modern, true metal, possibly. Not so. Taking the lead from the likes of Wolfmother and The Sword, who in turn aren't doing an awful lot different to veterans like Orange Goblin, this, their fourth album in five years, offers nothing new or different to the above, but does it with a little more energy and less attention to acceptability than the former two. They're no Orange Goblin, though.

There are some undoubted good points about this album. Tomorrow Police being one of them, with enough groovy stoner riffs and a handy solo half way through, all over a suitably head-banging backing, to win over any fan of the genre. A few ideas borrowed from Motörhead on Parable of Daedalus don't do them any harm, and the blues overtones of 1000 Winters In A Row show hints of a more expansive musical understanding that isn't fully realised.

But it's where a punky edge undoes songs like No Holds Barred, Infinite Lives and Nomadic Sacrifice that the band let themselves down, and they do this more often than their Clutch-esque leanings come through. Disappointing, in a way, because there are hints of something different on some tracks which are never quite fleshed out to genuinely original ideas.

Immortalizer is a good enough example of ordinary fuzzy, heavy rock, but for young bands doing something interesting with the genre look to Black Stone Cherry, Baroness and Witchcraft. They're all ahead of Valient Thorr, and with a lot less practice too.

“ nothing new ”

Tracklist: I Hope The Ghosts of The Dead Haunt Yr Soul Forever / Infinite Lives / Mask of Sanity / Tomorrow Police / No Holds Barred / Parable of Daedalus / Birdhead Looking @ Goldenhands / Vernal Equinox / 1000 Winters In A Row / Red Flag / Nomadic Sacrifice / Steeplechase / Tackle The Walrus / "track 14"

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2008, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Stoner,

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