Rating:
9.1
Death Valley Driver - Choke The River
5 May 2011


01. Choke The River With Your Dead
02. Mothsblood
03. Straight To Hell
04. Insect Dirge
05. Heavy Lies The Crown
06. Sleeping All December
07. Lambs In the Wolfskin
08. Armour Divides


In the sludge/stoner sub-genre, the music is represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: the slow, more ambient types that lay down some good, smokey atmosphere, and the groove oriented bands that sound like rock n roll drowning in it's own filth. Death Valley Driver fit in with this latter group amongst the likes of Down and Orange Goblin...And dare I say this band gives those seasoned veterans a good run for their money?

Down...Orange Goblin...Those are both two heavy-hitting names in this form of music, so how does anyone offer any serious competition? Basically Death Valley Driver does what they do, but force all the great aspects of sludge/stoner metal to a new extreme. The grooves are just as heavy and infectious as any band you could name, while the sound is so grimy it would make Matt Pike want to go take a shower. Then we take a step back and look at the album as a whole; they managed to arrange the songs in such an order that is almost a blatant statement that they aren't just a one-trick pony. Halfway through, right after you're done revelling in the drive of "Insect Dirge", they kick into beast-mode with the manic aggressive "Heavy Lies The Crown". After continuing down that path for a couple of tracks, they return to their #1 strength and close with yet another highly infectious, bouncing groover.

2011 is shaping up to be another fantastic year for releases, yet we have yet to see any real stiff competition to lead the pack for this particular sub-genre. Well, now we do - it's called Choke The River. Do. Not. Miss.


 



Written on 03.05.2011 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC, now semi-retired.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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bluegreengod - 03.05.2011 at 07:59  
Thanks for the review - short, to the point and it peaked my interest enough to listen to a cool band that I've never heard before. I don't think they give Down a run for much at all though since Down (IMO) has THE greatest vocalist along with two of the greats on bass and guitar (Kirk, of course). I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this one at the record store.
BudDa - 03.05.2011 at 08:39  
Oooh, an Orange Goblin look alike. Must check-out. Must Have. Thanks for the review
Fat & Sassy! - 09.05.2011 at 01:42  
I misread "Death Valley Driver - Choke The River review" headline as "Death Valley Driver - Choke The Reviewer". And from the sound of your take on the intensity of this album, I think this wouldn't be far off from the truth! XD

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