I write this review as my hoe country of France goes through yet another long night after the terrorist attack in Nice. I almost feel like a traitor reviewing this particular band, because Valient Thorr are by definition a 'good times' band, but fuck it - no terrorist is going to tell me what to do. The point being - the bands 2013 effort, Our Own Masters has been in regular rotation for me for three years now, so suffice to say expectations were high for this particular release, Old Salt. Fortunately, the band delivers.
The thing about Valient Thorr is that they are best when they preserve their swagger, so Valient Himself's potent cry of "You are a dead man!" that defines the first track is exactly the kind of thing we need to make this album come off on the right foot. The burning sense of fun, and the fiery passion that Old Salt represents is counterbalanced by something new though. Where Our Own Masters had a lot of shorter more chorus oriented songs, Old Salt sees the guys expanding on what they've done in the past, growing their sonic palate and showing us that this is a band who refuse to be stymied.
So yeah - perhaps no band as perfectly blends hardcore, blues and rock and roll as well as Valient Thorr. The dudes have done their job better than we could have ever imagined and there is something endlessly addictive about Old Salt. Though I've only had the record for a few days I'm already four listens deep. It's rare that you have a band with this level of swagger and burning attitude. Old Salt is exciting and fun and even suggests that a band who have been as traditionally stripped back as Valient Thorr can add a few exciting frills.
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