Valley Of The Sun from Cincinnati, Ohio were founded in 2010. After two self-released EPs, their studio debut album Electric Talons Of The Thunderhawk was released via Fuzzorama Records in 2014. The last release was their second album Volume Rock from 2016. And now, 2019, Old Gods rises from the Valley Of The Sun.
Deep, rumbling basssound, fuzzy guitars and powerful drums give us some hints on our way through the valley in front of us. Of course you can think of bands like Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss and Stone Temple Pilots – in the label information about the band you can also find Corrosion of Conformity, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden.
When you look at the 11 tracks of the album you can see 4 tracks longer than five minutes, three tracks longer than 3 minutes, but also four tracks even shorter, three of them even below 2 minutes. On of these short tracks is a drum performance, “Shiva Destroys,” which is a kind of intro for the following short, powerful track “Firewalker”. “Buddha Transcends” is a floating break with some birds singing in its outro. Bringing all the songs together we get 41 minutes of music.
In my opinion, the most outstanding thing on the album is the voice of singer Ryan Ferrier, who also plays the guitar. He has a wide-ranged and powerful voice, which is the centerpiece of each song. Josh Pilot plays the second guitar. Expressive guitar melodies and powerful riffs build an interesting contrast in most of the songs, while the nearly droning bass by Chris Sweeney is our base, together with the equally powerful drums by Aaron Boyer. There are a lot of different sounds and contrasts to explore. And you know what…? The song “Faith is for Suckers” gives us a COWBELL!!!
(More Cowbells in music!!!!)
Okay – back to topic. With the album’s first track “Old Gods,” the band presents us all of their trademarks in the first two and a half minutes. This is everything you need to hear, in my opinion, to decide whether you like the band or not. So take your time and give them a chance. Listen to the clean guitar, the way it energizes, listen to the first drum part, and the spectacular entrance of Ryan‘s voice. I liked it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆