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Conan: Live at Freak Valley

This album came out in March 2021, just as many of us were wondering about COVID vaccines and getting ready to set foot, however tentatively, back into something like normalcy. When I first listened to this album, I remember thinking that I would love nothing more than turning off Zoom, getting into my car, and heading out to see Conan live on stage.

For those who haven’t followed Conan, they are easily one of the best bands of their kind. Their music is raw and forceful, the perfect combination of doom and sludge metal mixed with a healthy love of fantasy worlds. To listen to them is to enter an alternative space where doom metal summons warriors to battle. The other cool thing about this band is that they know how to build music around powerful riffs.

This album captures the band at the German Freak Valley Festival sometime before the world shut down. Things open with the powerful blows of “Gravity Chasm,” a driving and heavy piece that sets the stage for everything else that’s coming. The band then works through seven more tracks that showcase the band’s gigantic and sludgy goodness. Sometimes music like this can sound muddy on a live recording, but Live at Freak Valley sounds great. The guitars are big and bold and Jon Davis’s vocals are sound especially good.

The setlist isn’t very long here, but Conan works through several solid tunes including terrific performances of “Thunderhoof” and “Foehammer.” If nothing else, check out the effects at the end of “Foehammer” and then follow them into the killer opening of “Total Conquest.” And don’t miss the excellent “Battle in the Swamp.”

Conan is one of my favorite bands and this is a welcome addition to my collection. If you’re into Conan or bands like them, you’ll probably love it, too. If you haven’t listened to Conan and aren’t sure you like doom metal, give it a shot!

Track Listing:
1. Gravity Chasm
2. Throne of Fire
3. Thunderhoof
4. Battle in The Swamp
5. Hawk as Weapon
6. Satsumo
7. Foehammer
8. Total Conquest
9. Revengeance

Added: July 15th 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 609
Language: english

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