Valient Thorr's Stranger | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Valient Thorr's Stranger 

(Volcom Entertainment)

Another album, another shredder for Valient Thorr, whose Sadat Thorr—better known as Thunderlip's James Yopp—becomes the band's fourth rhythm guitarist in four albums after replacing the departed Voiden Thorr. But not much else has changed within the group of no-compromise bros from Venus: Longtime lead axeman Eidan Thorr and the rest of the band return, along with Jack Endino—producer of Nirvana, High on Fire and Immortalizer, Thorr's last (and best) record—who employs a similarly slick yet hard-hitting approach here.

Frontman Valient Himself continues to preach from his rock 'n' roll pulpit too, railing against American greed and material excess during the crunchy start-and-stop rhythm of "Gillionaire," twisted priorities over the fast and furious shredding of "Habituary" and the vanities of plastic surgeries and an overmedicated society in the fist-pumping anthem "Future Humans." Though nothing here is as immediate as the best tunes from Immortalizer, the Thorrs still have a way of pounding a refrain into listeners' heads via brute repetition and shouted chants. While Stranger is built on the traditional Thorr touchstones of loud, fast and hard rock influenced by both metal and punk, the album does take a few minor risks. Some of those work, like easing off the pedal to allow for extended, interlocking guitar runs on "Night Terrors" and "Woman in the Woods," while others—mainly the meandering drum solo "The Recognition"—fall flat.

For those who like their metal mystical (mindless, some might say), Stranger has all the screaming solos, punishing drums and tasty riffs to sate. Entertaining as it may be to hear other bands extol the virtues of dragon slaying, corpse sodomizing and getting buddy-buddy with ol' Beelzebub, Valient Thorr still finds its distinction by directing its menace at deserving targets via social commentaries charged by precision and power.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Most Recent Comments

Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation