Duel – Valley of Shadows

I like getting shit in the mail and this certainly was a treat. I got this on LP from All That’s Heavy. It has spent a couple months on the doom charts. Valley of Shadows is true to form classic rocker with hints of many influences from Pentagram to Witchcraft along with many bands that keep the hard rock vibe alive and well. The guys at Heavy Psych Sounds Records know how to put out solid shit. This record is no exception.

Side A:

“Black Magic Summer” I’ll throw the video link down below. This song should make you want to buy this album. You can do that right here. This video makes me want to see these guys live. Texas rockers always bring the goods and this. This song has nice anthem like drive. Similar to some Dirty Black Summer form Danzig.

“Red Moon Forming” Duel takes us on a trip into the flame the eternal fire. The track begins with a gnarly intro lick. However, this songs’ magic is inthe vocals. The only band that I can compare them to is a punk band from Kansas City area called Radkey. The song speaks to a trip that there is no turning back. We are on the longest trip and there is no going back. Watch out for the Red Moon. A good track keeps the pace of the album interesting. The solo work is pretty down to earth and flows nicely into the final verse/chorus. You have to enjoy the line “I don’t have to feel sorry but I feel sorry for you.” Fuck Texas roads at night.

“Drifting Alone” I get a real sense of Witchcraft with the vocals on this track. I really enjoy this song’s vibe. Drifting Alone would not be fun especially if it happen on a Texas road. The song shift gears and the sonic boom is perfect here. The song is like your drifting and you run into some sort of devilish figure who is going save your ass. Man if this songs isn’t Cormac McCarthyish I don’t know what is. Beware The Judge.

“Strike and Disappear” set you up to enjoy a mellow rocker with haunting lyrics to this side. I enjoy the “slow death is your bride.” Good lyric here. If slow death was your bride you pretty much married to the worst evil. Short version would be you’re fucked. The next line that sticks out is “The scars on your fragile skin are no fault of your own.” Thinking about despair these scars that accumulate on you are dealt by a fucked up world around you. A repeated throng of “Take back your heavy trip and be gone” has a great build up as the song kicks into hard Nashville Pussy style rock anthem. “They Strike And They Disappear.” A perfect way to end the first side of this record.

Side B:

“Broken Mirror” Nice guitar work to open the side. A good evil mix of guitars and lyrics that drive the melody. This track is pretty stream lined and produced well. Its almost air tight. I would like to see these guys live and see how tight they are. Classic Stoner rock track good lyrics, great guitar solo and a solid foundation. Powerage AC/DC would be proud.

“Tyrant on the Throne” I get a more metal Priest vibe on this track. Some nice phase work hides behind the vocals. A nice pounding doom sound here as they reach for another genre. Once again a very well produced song.

“I Feel No Pain” a good Black Crowes bluesy intro on this track. More Witchcraft style vocals. A nice driving beat on this one and solid solo work. This songs deserves more than one listen and worth moving the needle for.

“The Bleeding Heart” rounds out the record. A good rocker. The bass arrives nicely on this song’s intro. I get a good late 70’s vibe for sure. I’m gonna say 1976 or 1977. I don’t want this album to end with the lyrics “Lead me Away” does leave me kicking and screaming for more Duel. At least there are three or so records I haven’t heard yet.

I get a real punk rock and classic stoner vibe from these guys and I’m sure that is what they are after. If you want an album to crank up while your out blacktop adventuring this is certainly the album your looking for or it should be in you playlist. Fuck I miss mix-tapes. Just hope your El Camino doesn’t break because if its Texas your fucked. Stoner rock is in a good place right now. More and more bands that come out similar to Duel deserve a better shake from the mainstream critics. It is what it is and I’m always a fan of a band that can find their niche and keep churning out records. They can have a nice career doing what they love.

Buy their shit!! Support these bands



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