Release Date: Jun 18, 2013
Record label: Volcom Entertainment
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
In a world where music has been growing increasingly beardy and serious, especially in the realm of metal, a band like Valient Thorr can be a breath of refreshing, albeit sweaty, air. On sixth album Our Own Masters, the Chapel Hill by way of Venus band continues to rock and rock hard, giving the feeling that these perennial road dogs pretty much only stop to refuel the van, give high fives, and occasionally record an album. If their life on the road is causing any wear and tear on them, Valient Thorr sure don't show it on the album, which has an invigorating quality about it that makes you want to immediately drop what you're doing, shotgun an energy drink, and air guitar along to the album's endless string of killer riffs until you pass out from exhaustion.
After five albums, Valient Thorr’s asphalt-burning stew of hardcore punk, NWOBHM, and ’70s boogie-rock should come as a surprise only to those who haven’t already had their asses thoroughly kicked by it. What is shocking is how the Venus-born, Chapel Hill-based quintet continues to improve with each album; Our Own Masters delivers all the hairy, sweaty, twin-guitar insanity of their live shows, yet also contains some of their most unabashedly sophisticated moments, like the contemplative space-blues guitar breakdown of “Torn Apart” or the epic (in the old-school sense) mood shifts of the closing “Call Off the Dogs”. Thorriors rejoice: This one’s a stone-cold killer.
If you’ve heard of Valient Thorr, the hirsute and heroic rock’n’roll five-piece stretched between Raleigh, N.C., and Richmond, Va., you’ve probably heard their creation myth, too: Decades ago, the band members were on a spaceship dispatched from their hometown of Burlatia, Venus, when a crash-landing temporarily stranded them in the college town wilderness of Eastern North Carolina. Try as they might, the spacemen have yet to fix the ship. Instead, they’ve passed the time with a rock group that tours incessantly, spreading warnings about the endless greed and impending catastrophe they’ve encountered on Earth with a great Pentecostal fervor.