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Album Review

Venusian road warriors Valient Thorr pretty much live their lives on-stage, so whenever they find the time to get out of the van long enough to record a new album, there's real cause for celebration among their loyal legions of "Thorriors." And, to be fair, the band's recording schedule has been quite prolific for a group that averages between 200 and 250 shows a year, totaling five albums in seven years with the arrival of 2010's Stranger. This is the second straight VT album produced by indie maven Jack Endino, and it's certainly no less heavy, eclectic, or downright weird than any other in the band's impressive discography, a discography most notable for somehow making dirty old hard rock sound so fresh and outsider-fashionable. Convulsing opener "Gillionaire" summons up the band's internal Jesus Lizard and is sure to elicit cries of "WTF?" nationwide (see also the jazz-metal skronk of "Woman in the Woods" in this regard), but the very next cut, barnstorming rocker "Sleeper Awakes," sees Valient Thorr operating precisely in their wild-eyed, late-‘60s Dee-troit-channeling comfort zone, but that's hardly where the band remains for the duration. "Double Crossed" is ridiculously infectious of chorus and heavy of riff, "Night Terrors" takes it a down a notch midway through for a bolero-like guitar overture, "Vision Quest" is almost intolerably catchy, the blazing-fast "Habituary" is hardcore at its hairiest, and "Future Remains" clones Angus Young for what one can only presume will be the band's conquering return mission to take Venus back from its Muzak-loving locals. All kidding aside, of all the Valient Thorr albums, Stranger is arguably the one where they least sound like the X-Files' house band, and yet it also sees the quintet coming full circle to the unpredictable metallic rock hybrid concocted by its breakthrough album, 2005's Total Universe Man. This is a good thing, since it means that fans are treated to the same, "as seen on-stage" level of irrepressible energy, wed to a restless imagination and highly entertaining lyrics that have always helped distinguish Valient Thorr from the workmanlike hard rock masses.

Customer Reviews


I heard the song Sudden Death is Nothing on the Jason Ellis Show yesterday and it definitely rocks! I don't know about the rest of the album, but if this song is any indication, then Valient Thor is a metal force to be reckoned with.

Great Band, Amazing Live Show

Just saw this band in St. Louis at the Firebird for the night of there CD release. Valient Himself, couldn't be a better front man. The new songs at the show sounded awesome. You can't go wrong with this album.

This ROCKS!!!

I just saw these guys in Indianapolis when they opened for Clutch... I am here buying an entire album... I think that should be all need said. Buy this now!


Formed: 2001 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

According to frontman Valient Himself, hard-rocking metal outfit Valient Thorr were birthed on the planet Venus several millennia ago, hopscotching across the space-time continuum before finally arriving on Earth in 1957. Upon crashing in North Carolina, their time-travel machine was stolen by Walt Disney, and so the group (guitarists Eidan Thorr and Odinn Thorr, bassist Dr. Professor Nitewolf Strangees, and drummer Lucian Thorr) remains here to rock while seeking the means to return home. Valient...
Full Bio
Stranger, Valient Thorr
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Customer Ratings