If you read the pages here at Metal Insider you know we’re big fans of Baroness. And if you, like me, have been craving some new tunes that aren’t far off from the Baroness sound, you definitely want to check out Fear, by Valkyrie, which releases on Relapse Records. Valkyrie, as you may already know, is the band that features Pete Adams, who played on a wealth of Baroness classics before Gina Gleason took over. There’s no doubt that Baroness mainman John Baizley knows how to pick amazing musicians, but that’s for another article.
So, is Valkyrie a Baroness clone? No. While there are some definite similarities, Valkyrie is rather distinct and focuses a bit more on heavy rock, slightly earthier, more roots-oriented sound, more akin to Bask at times, than Baroness.
There are eight tracks on Fear, and every single one is extremely well developed, masterfully melodic and absolutely genuine. I’ve been listening to this album a lot in the car and I love how the bass and drums provides just the right rattle in the car audio system. So this band isn’t all just riffs and licks on the guitars, but those riffs and licks are extremely substantial. This mix of rhythms and guitars plays so well on tracks like “Evil Eye.”
As evidenced by this track, there is a lot of Thin Lizzy influence here, but it’s a heavier Thin Lizzy and certainly much more progressive.
“Feeling so Low” is a bluesy track that, again, has tons of hooks and addictive riffs. What also makes this standout is the outstanding guitar tone.
What is so great about Fear is that there’s no filler, no unnecessary extras. It’s just straight ahead heavy rock with nothing outlandish. This approach clearly allowed Valkyrie to focus on what it is that they do best and what is clearly in their zone.
Fear releases on July 24 on Relapse Records and can be ordered here now. The black splatter LP is already sold out so be sure to pre-order now to get your chance at the remaining vinyl.