Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Valkyrie - Man of Two Visions

Man of Two Visions

The publicity hook for Valkyrie is that Baroness guitarist Pete Adams is a member. But the Virginia quartet existed before those acclaimed metallurgists arrived on the scene, and continue today. Pete shares git-fiddle duties with his brother Jake (who also sings, in the usual Ozzy-influenced yowl), and their sibling six-string harmonies give the NWOBHM-infused doom majesty of Man of Two Visions a lush, almost painterly backdrop – cf. the extended coda of the title track. But the driving force here is melody – few metal bands of this stripe make music that’s so damn pleasurable to hear. There’s nothing you’d call pop music, mind you, but the band’s sharp ear and easy fluency make False Dreams, Apocalypse Unsealed and the instrumental Green Highlander a lot catchier than you’d ever guess. Bonus: The Gorge, an acoustic instrumental that would make Leo Kottke proud.

- Michael Toland
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