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Valkyrie: Shadows

Earthy doom delirium from Baroness axe-slinger

Shadows is this Virginian hard rawk quartet’s third album since forming in 2002 and their first in seven years; in the interim, their profile has been boosted thanks to guitarist/vocalist Pete Adams’ involvement with Baroness.

Happily he’s still nailing licks in Valkyrie alongside his brother Jake, and there is something innately satisfying about siblings knocking out such irresistibly gorgeous harmonies and creamy duelling leads.

Wherever catchy guitar melodies are jubilantly harmonised, Thin Lizzy comparisons are seldom far away, but Valkyrie’s bread and butter is the kind of busy, bluesy earth-shaking doom rock that’s been slithering out of Virginia since Pentagram first gathered in a jam room circa1971, plus a fat dollop of Southern rock swagger and Pete and Jake’s sub-Ozzy/Danzig vocals that feel like an unflustered afterthought.

However, even without knowledge of this twin-axe tag-team’s fraternal bond, you’ll get a mighty kick out of their interwoven six-string magic, this instinctive chemistry nudging Valkyrie above the stoner scene average./o:p

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.