You have to admire a band that not only creates its own mythological backstory, but goes out of its way to foster the illusion and even gets Walt Disney involved. Supposedly, Valient Thorr is a group of Venutians who crash-landed in North Carolina in the '50s and hid a time machine in the Virginia suburbs, which they used to bounce back and forth in time, studying the effects of Earth's weather on Venutian babies, who, they claim, eons ago became the first Earthlings. Unfortunately, their time-traveling came to an end in 2000, when they returned to Earth to discover Walt Disney had stolen their time machine in the late '70s. (So that's what he's been up to.) With nothing else to do, they decided to start a hard rock band. Of course.
In reality, Valient Thorr is five hairy Southern dudes who have listened to a whole hell of a lot of Black Sabbath and Van Halen, but that doesn't diminish the ass-kicking, hair-raising power of the band's latest Volcom album, Immortalizer, one iota. Anyone seeking a warmup for the Judas Priest/Motorhead/Heaven and Hell/Testament megabill later this month, you've found it. - Chris Gray
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