Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.
A Storm Of Light: “Destroyer”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/04-Destroyer.mp3|titles=A Storm Of Light, “Destroyer”]
Since its inception, Josh Graham’s A Storm Of Light has adopted a model that’s based squarely on collective evolution, be it in something as complex as its musical aspirations or something as simple as its personnel. With its fourth release, As the Valley of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade, the group seemingly moves a little further from its loose “project” designation yet seemingly keeps the “band” label at arm’s length.
With its sound rooted firmly in no-frills rock, Valley’s style could best be described as “talk metal” or, barring that, “verbal doom.” Graham’s vocals tend to avoid conventional melody, or at least anything too advanced, instead coming off more as pitched declarations of ideology over the anvil attack of bassist Dominic Seita and newcomer drummer B.J. Graves. Though the obvious comparisons to contemporaries Neurosis or Unsane will make sense, Valley really borrows more heavily from mid-1990s hard rock — the half-spoken, hard-truth heaviness of Rollins Band, or the sludgy Sabbath nods of Soundgarden (fittingly, guitarist Kim Thayil pops in for a pair of guest spots: “Missing” and “Black Wolves”). The chugging “Collapse” evokes a less tom-reliant form of Tool, and the environmentalist-turned-existentialist “Destroyer” finally explains what a Queensrÿche / Alice in Chains / Rage Against the Machine collaboration might have sounded like.