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Sons Of Death Valley : Fathers Of The Free

If you need to get off the Doom bus for a while to stretch your legs, Hardcore Southern rockers Sons Of Death Valley give that opportunity.

Ok, I take full responsibility for this one. I did, after being consulted by the powers that be, decide that we should cover this. So by way of a caveat, if you've recently heard something by Tyranny, Worship or Esoteric for the first time and have arrived here after deciding that Doom Metal, especially the more extreme end of the spectrum, will make the perfect soundtrack to your miserable existence, then you might want to skip this one, and head straight for the Funeral, Drone and Death subgenre headings on our Bandlist page. In any case, let's just say I thought I heard more 'relevant riffage' in a couple of tracks I put on whilst doing a few things round the gaff a couple of weeks ago. I was mistaken.

So, for the purists...this one's for you...

That said...if you go to enough Sludge or Doom gigs you will eventually encounter one or two bands like Sons Of Death Valley. Especially those plying their trade with some Southern charm. I say like because really these guys are a highly polished version of the sort of oily punk n' roll bands I can remember seeing at the When Planets Collide gigs, such as Diesel King, Gurt and XII Boar. Great fun, but not exactly Doom. In fact, Sons of Death Valley's promo shots have them coming across as a sort of hipster version of 80's occult goth rockers Fields of the Nephilim, with their Western Outlaws look, sleeves rolled up, and bourbon at the ready.

Anyway, let's get on with it. I don't listen to much mainstream metal these days, but if I did I reckon Sons Of Death Valley could quite easily find a space in the CD changer in my car. Once the rallying cry of 'War' ends we're straight down to business with the kind of high octane, bluesy riff n' roll you might find if you gave The Dukes Of Nothing a trendy makeover. It's also not that far removed from the opening vocal track on Superjoint Ritual's debut album. 'Fight Song' continues this Southern allegiance but at the same time it packs quite a decent Hardcore punch as well. Breakdowns included.

It would be fair to say that 'Three Finger Jack' crystallises everything that the Sons are all about. Adrenaline fueled, pacey Southern riffs, a powerful vocal attack, and Hardcore breakdowns all carried along by gutsy, gravelly melodies and the occasional hook. I'm not going to lie and say I'd have gone out of my way to track this one down, but having now heard it I'm glad I have. It's easily something I could drive around to in the summer months and it's a welcome break from the nihilistic industrial noise I've been battering myself with of late.

So, if you do want to get off the Doomy bus for a quick comfort break, then let Sons Of Death Valley be your musical accompaniment. You might be suprised. The album is also a concept piece based around the life and times of 19th century outlaw Joaquin Murrieta, so you'll get a bit of history thrown in for free too. Lastly, let it be said that Sons Of Death Valley are very good at what they do, and their confidence and ability is not up for questioning.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Wars
2. Path Of The Righteous
3. Fight Song
4. The Undertaker
5. Three Finger Jack
6. Death Is Coming
7. Your God
8. Unforgettable Hate
9. Redemption
10. Devils Dance
11. Fathers Of The Free

Duration : Approx. 41 minutes

Visit the Sons Of Death Valley bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-06-17 by Matt Halsey
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