Duel are out of Austin Texas and they are serving up some super cool, psychedelic Stoner Metal, on this, their second album.
Duel have a guitar sounds that flits from Thin Lizzy meets Skynyrd duelling leads, and then onto some dirty old riffing that many a Doom band would envy. You throw in some drug fuelled vocals that seem to worship Satan one minute and the sweet leaf the next, and you have one hell of a cool band.
And as with a lot of Stoner Metal, comparisons can be made with the likes of Sabbath and Pentagram… yeah, the usual suspects… but Duel are a bit heavier than the norm. Admittedly, some of the album is that glorious uplifting brand of Metal than only the smoking bands can provide… particularly the monster opening track, Devil… which
reminds me of a Stoner version of Grand Magus. At other times, on tracks like the Snake Queen, they drift off into a metallic version of Neil Young. Full of 60s/70s laid-back vibes, but with a more menacing edge. And then we have Astro Gypsy… I’m taken back to Golden Earring and Radar Love (because of the drumming) and early Sabbath, because of the riffing… and I’m also thinking, maybe, early Uriah Heep. Whichever way you look at it, this is a classic that should have seen the light in the 70s.
This is a very cool album, full of glorious retro Metal with a Stoner edge… and man, the riffing. Guitar riffs are not something I tend to get over excited about, but Tom Frank and Jeff Henson have just nailed the sound on this album and I’m still as passionate about music (as I’ve ever been) because of albums like this one.
My dope smoking days ended about 24 years ago, but I can still appreciate the vibe… and I’m sure older readers who had a fruitful youth will appreciate this too…