Monday 24 April 2017

DUEL - Witchbanger (Album Review)

Release date: April 28th 2017. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Witchbanger – Tracklisting

3.The Snake Queen
4.Astro Gypsy
5.Heart of the Sun
6.Bed of Nails
7.Cat's Eye
8.Tigers and Rainbows


Tom Frank - guitar,vocals
Shaun Avants - bass, vocals
JD Shadowz - drums
Jeff Henson - guitar


Duel return with their second album - Witchbanger - and it's another heavy slice of classic Heavy Metal carnage merged with slabs of powerful Stoner/Doom Metal. The album has a very classic eighties heavy metal feel with the vocals proving that this album will appeal to both the more traditional metal-head and the more modern doom metal fan.

Opening track - Devil - is what you expect from Duel. Fast-paced riffs that never outstay their welcome as the band play a blend of heavy metal sounds merged with modern sounding doom metal theatrics. The twin guitars have a slight Thin Lizzy feel and that is always a good thing. Duel know who they and they make no apologies for making straight-forward Doom/Heavy Metal such as this. It’s good to see the band mixing things up a bit on this track as it acts as the catalyst for things to come.

Second track - Witchbanger - carries on the vintage sound heard on the first track but with a gloomier atmosphere. It's one of the standout tracks on the album with creepy lyrics and pitch-perfect riffs adding a more subtle blues rock vibe at times. I don't want to spend to long reviewing every song on the album as I want this album to be kept as a surprise for both fans of the band and first time listeners.

If you want a good old fashioned Doom/Heavy Metal album where the riffs, vocals and lyrics are equally as important as each other then. Witchbanger is the album for you. I will admit this was the first album I've heard by Duel as I passed their debut album by. My mistake as Duel are a serious hard-rocking unit who have some cool and original ideas of their own especially on the excellent third track - The Snake Queen.

This track shows how inventive Duel can actually be with the band taking a more psychedelic approach and influenced by the legendary sounds of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus. Whilst still creating their own sound. Other great tracks to check out are: Astro Gypsy, Heart Of The Sun and Tigers and Rainbows.

The production is first rate throughout as Duel have done their homework here. As Witchbanger sounds like it could have been released back in the classic heyday of Doom Metal whilst still offering a modern Stoner based sound. Witchbanger is an exciting wild ride into the realm of Doom/Heavy Metal and I urge you not to pass this album by as Duel have created another quality album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Witchbanger will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from April 28th 2017.