Sunday 31 March 2019

DUEL - Valley Of Shadows (Album Review)

Release date: May 17th 2019. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Valley Of Shadows – Tracklisting

1. Black magic summer
2. Red moon forming
3. Drifting alone
4. Strike and Disappear
5. Broken Mirror
6. Tyrant on the throne
7. I feel no pain
8. The bleeding heart


Tom Frank - guitar, vocals
Shaun Avants - bass, vocals
Justin Collins - drums
Jeff Henson - guitar


Greetings all,

Sometimes you come across a truly amazing, inspired record that just sort of creeps up on you. I had heard of the Texas psychedelic occult rock band Duel, but wasn’t familiar with their output. I will be forever grateful that their third record, Valley of Shadows, landed in my lap. The band has an intense hard driving, 70’s classic rock sound with a real heavy dose of stoner vibe and grunge fuelled muscle. Valley of Shadows is a powerful blast of eight epic slabs of rock n roll. The band is tight, the production is top notch and the songs are solid through and through. The band uses the basic two guitar, bass, and drums sound with a vocal style that reminded me at times of Orange Goblin and Mos Generator.

Black Magic Summer opens the record with a massive riff and larger than life chorus. One of my favorite tracks on the album follows, Red Moon Forming, rocks ferociously with the band channelling their inner Thin Lizzy. The band keeps it coming with the psych heavy leanings of Drifting Alone. Their guitars and drums ooze a dark psychedelic feel that blends perfectly with the dark lyrics throughout.

Strike & Disappear slows things down a bit, but only for the first part. The jangly off kilter rhythm and ominous warning to “Take back your heavy trip and be gone” then morphs wildly into a high octane/thrash influenced close. The next track, Broken Mirror, opens with a massive metal inspired riff that brings in a later era Sabbath vibe to this killer track.

Tyrant on the Throne brings the heavy with big riffs and a killer classic rock feel. The ultra catchy I Feel No Pain follows with some killer lyrical storytelling and crunch, grunge inspired feel. The band brings the full on, ZZ Top on steroids/Texas boogie with The Bleeding Heart

The album closer is an absolute monster guitar heavy beast that closes the record on the highest of high notes.

Duel has given unto us an amazing album. Plain and simple, Valley of Shadows delivers the goods. This album will definitely stay in constant rotation, while I go back and dive head-first into the bands back catalogue. Go grab a copy of this album. It will floor you!

- Todd S - Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Valley Of Shadows will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from May 17th 2019.