Duel – Valley Of Shadows


We get way too many heavy rock releases the last years and although we’re getting close to the saturation point, there are still some bands out there that worth our time.

DUEL just released their third full length and I can say that the quartet from Texas managed to give us their best work till now (three years only after their denut). “Valley Of Shadows” contains eight great compositions that are placed in a manner that keep us interested till the end with great melodies and vocals that bring in mind a fusion between Bloodrock, Think Lizzy and early Danzig. Production (made by guitarist Jeff Hensen) is not superb but does the job and hasn’t the typical raw sound of other bands (that hide there the lack of some good writing) and the finally the length of the album is ideal (less than 40 minutes like the old good times).

The opening track is “Black Magic Summer” with a catchy chorus (so no surprise this was the first video single)και το πιασάρικο ρεφρέν του (όχι τυχαία το πρώτο video single) and some interesting vocals. Then we get the simple in rhythm (almost rock n roll) “Red Moon Forming” that is based on some proper melodies over the bass lines of Shaun Avants. With “Drifting Alone” we get some dose of melancholy (ideal track for road trip) while A-Side closes with “Strike and Disappear”, a track that is smoldering for two and half minutes and then bursts in a “motorhead-ish” way.

B-Side open with the almost-thrashy riff of “Broken Mirror” (the only track that I can’t really stand the vocal lines) and then we have  “Tyrant on the Throne”, one of the album’s highlight, a track that brings up NWOBHM memories among others. “I Feel no Pain” drops downplays (nice chorus once more) and the epilogue of the album will come with “The Bleeding Heart” and it’s up-tempo along with some southern elements. It’s the only track that almost recheaces 6 minutes but in reality the last 60 seconds are just a calming fading away sound effects.

In conclusion this is another great release by Heavy Psych Sounds (that will also give us soon the new albums of Planet Of Zeus and Nightstalker)