Review: Death Valley Knights – ‘Valhalla Vintage’ EP

Sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees when it comes to Metal and it’s many, many sub-genres. It’s like that bit in ‘Comic Strip Presents – Bad News’ when one of the characters refuses to get back in the van until the band leader says that they are indeed a Heavy Metal band. What’s wrong with just being Metal? Thankfully, with London based Death Valley Knights we don’t have to faff about with what sub-genre to lump them into, they are unashamedly, 100% Metal. Like in the good old days of Maiden and Priest etc. You know, when life was simpler. Their latest EP, ‘Valhalla Vintage’ is a refreshing, trend-free zone that encourages the listener to tune in, drop out, and raise their horns. Founding member, vocalist/guitarist Jake Thorsen is actually Texan, but could easily have come spewing out of the NWOBHM era. Classic Metal voice, hard and powerful, which in places (‘Taste Of The Kill’ and ‘Shut Up And Drink’) echoes Biff Byford during Saxon’s early years. The music on offer is fast, uptempo Metal… with few exceptions. The slowed down mid section of ‘Be The Grizzly’ is a surprise when it appears. Rather than doodle about for a minute then come back in turbocharged, the twin guitars of Thorsen and Pawel Matuszkiewicz naturally fade away in an unforced manner. Simple, but very effective. ‘Legacy’ is another highlight, fast and melodic, with some strong vocal hooks throughout. The solos are blistering, as they are throughout the EP, lots of influences can be heard thrown into the mix, in particular a nice ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ riff just as the solo ends. With Ted Nugent, I tend to go with the idea of respect the art rather than the artist. He might be a bit of a Froot Loop, but the fucker can play. Someone else that can play is the man behind the skins for Death Valley Knights, Hugo Terva. Relentless, powerful drum work that more than makes an impression. Along with his fuss-free partner in the engine room, bassist Ashley Porter, they make a formidable team and it’s always great when you can hear some slabs of beefy bass. For fans of Saxon, Maiden, Priest, Motörhead, etc, etc… You know, the good shit! Available July 28th. More information on Facebook Review: Dave Stott  ]]>

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