Men of Clear Vision
Retro is the new modern, in fashion as well as music. Continuing the trend of classic stoner metal for the next millennium, Valkyrie have emerged in a smoky haze from Virginia with their second full-length, Man Of Two Visions. Drawing heavily from early Black Sabbath and a touch of Iron Maiden, the new album riffs its way across the sludgescape in a concise 38 minutes.
“Running Out” grabs your attention immediately, with its energetic drumming and dirty harmonized guitars. “Dawntide’s Breeze” could easily be mistaken for a track by The Sword as it plods along through wailing vocals, grooving rhythms, and big guitar solos. “False Dreams” shows bassist Will Barry doing his best Geezer Butler impression, and the title track features guitar brothers Jake and Pete Adams trading solos as the album careens to a close.
A nice touch on the record is the two “interlude” tracks. These serve to break up the progression of the album nicely, keeping it from being nonstop bong rips for an hour. “The Gorge” particularly is nothing but an acoustic guitar playing big chord melodies for 5 minutes, and it’s gorgeous (pun intended).
One of the first things you’ll notice is the production of the record, which accurately reproduces the warm, muddy sounds of the ’70s. There’s very little high end in the mix, and the album was clearly recorded with as few overdubs as possible. There’s no click track, no auto-tune, no bells and whistles, giving it the old feeling of just 4 guys in a room rocking out.
Whether you miss the old days or not, Valkyrie’s sophomore offering will keep you headbanging for years to come, and it certainly belongs on your shelf right next to your most cherished Sabbath.