Release Date: ???
If you like: The Sword, early Mastodon, High on Fire, Down, Kylesa, stoner/sludge
Standout Tracks: Valley, We Descend, Barren
Valley grab your attention immediately with a The Sword-style attack guitar tone and drum rhythm wise, but favor a more early-Mastodon style of vocals on the cleaner side. The St. Louis band plays fast, heavy, and you will take notice when you hear them.
The self-titled song “Valley” seems like a pretty straight forward hard rock song, but there's elements of sludge and stoner in terms of tempo and feel. The solos aren't exactly solos, they're more like thick interludes slowly pounding away inside your mind. The drums drive the interlude to a gallop, only to be crushed again by tone to end the cut.
The longest song “We Descend” is double the length of the other three, and builds slowly and fades through the intro setting the pace of the song. A heavy trudge through the first with a catchy guitar riff, reminiscent of Down. It's almost as if there's a deep southern sludge metal band located in the Show Me State. The guitar solo is a work of art, it sounds powerful and dissonant over the slow, established sound of the song. Highly worth a listen.
“Barren” has a fuzzy feedback intro from the previous song, and ups the tempo and sounds like a song written by a lovechild from Baroness and The Sword. This song has more of the focus on the drums than the other two, but the heavy tonal sounds of the guitar are present, along with another solo that sounds like a John Dyer Baizley lick.
There's a pretty heavy drum intro on “Tooth and Claw”. I feel Pantera with different vocals. It's upbeat sludge, if that's even a thing. It's a pretty good song but overshadowed by the others.
This is just the first step for Valley. I wish this was longer. Go support these guys on their Facebook page! I will be looking forward to a full length.
4.25 out of 5
by Kyle Boaz