Duel Announce Winter 2020 European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

duel

It’s been a minute or two since I told everyone who might put eyes on these words to go see Duel, so yes, I’m due. Go see Duel. I can’t make it any plainer than that. It’s kind of hard to explain, because their sound is modern but rooted in classic heavy. It’s got an edge but isn’t overly aggro. It’s not dumb, but it’s not self-indulgent. And they nail it live, with just enough of a sense of chaos to make the whole thing feel organic and not too balanced in such a way to detract from the experience. For all the touring they’ve done, I feel like they’re starting now to build the reputation they deserve, and that’s not going to mean any less work in their future, but fortunately they seem up to the task — of yet more touring.

Which brings us around to their impending return to Europe this winter, where they’ll play Heavy Psych Sounds Fest and share the stage with their labelmates in Mondo Generator, etc. I’ve no doubt good times will be had, and the Austin, Texas, natives will still be back in the States in plenty of time to get their heads together for Stoner Jam at SXSW for which the 2019 lineup was staggering — seriously, I haven’t been to Austin since March 2007, I swore I was done, and even I had to tip my hat to that bill — and which they seem an easy pick to take part.

New record in 2020? Seems early since they just put out their third LP, Valley of Shadows (review here), earlier this year, but I wouldn’t call it impossible. They’re nothing if not productive, and they have momentum on their side.

Badass band not sitting around waiting for the world to come to them. Call it a win.

From Heavy Psych Sounds via the PR wire:

duel euro tour 2020 part ii

DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS EUROPEAN TOUR 2020 – part II

We are so happy to present a very special tour !!!

DUEL are coming back to Europe in 2020 playing in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland and UK !

A lot of single shows but also great festivals such as Heavy Psych Sounds Fests in Paris, London, Deventer and Antwerp !!!

*** DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS EUROPEAN TOUR 2020 – part II ***

21.02.2020 IT Pisa-Albatross
22.02.2020 CH Martigny-Le Caves Du Manoir
23.02.2020 DE Munich-Backstage
24.02.2020 DE Berlin-Zukunft w/ Mondo Generator
25.02.2020 DE Dresden-Chemiefabrik w/Mondo Generator
26.02.2020 DE Leipzig-Black Label
27.02.2020 DE Hamburg-Stubnitz
28.02.2020 NL Rotterdam
29.02.2020 DE Siegen-Vortex
01.03.2020 DE Koln-MTC
02.03.2020 FR Lille
03.03.2020 FR Nantes-La Scene Michelet
04.03.2020 FR Rennes-Le Mondo Bizzarro
05.03.2020 FR Paris-Glazart HPS Fest
06.03.2020 BE Antwerp-Trix HPS Fest
07.03.2020 UK London-Underworld HPS Fest
08.03.2020 NL Deventer-Burgerwheesuis HPS Fest

All tickets available soon via www.heavypsychsounds.com

They have earned a reputation with their beer soaked high energy live performances, relentless touring, writing and recording schedule. Since 2016 the band have released 4 albums with “Valley of Shadows” released on Heavy Psych Sounds Records in May of 2019. DUEL is about to embark on their seventh extensive European tour following their sixth in 2019 which saw them once again hitting many of the major festivals that they have in the past. Desert Fest, Freak Valley, Stick and Stone, Black Deer Fest in the UK etc. The band has also stayed extremely busy at home in the United States will 2 full tours last year hitting many of the Stoner Doom festivals with many more to come in 2020.

DUEL is:
Tom Frank – Vocals / Guitar
Jeff Henson – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Backing Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, “Black Magic Summer” official video

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Review & Video Premiere: Duel, Valley of Shadows

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on March 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

duel valley of shadows

[Click play above to stream the premiere of Duel’s video for ‘Black Magic Summer’ from Valley of Shadows. Album is out May 17 on Heavy Psych Sounds. European tour dates here.]

There’s been nothing to dull the momentum Duel have built since the release of their first album, Fears of the Dead (review here), just over three years ago in 2016, and as much as their third LP for Heavy Psych Sounds, Valley of Shadows, might feel like an arrival point, it’s entirely possible it’s just another forward step in an ongoing series thereof. Through considerable touring in North America and Europe, the Austin, Texas, four-piece have worked to earn a reputation and as songwriters. Their sophomore full-length, 2017’s Witchbanger (review here), was a marked step forward from the debut, and the eight tracks/37 minutes of Valley of Shadows follow suit, with a less-rushed feel and a burgeoning attention to detail in songwriting, as well as a more dynamic overall approach that moves Duel further from the ’70s-ism of their beginnings and further toward their own sound.

A 2018 live album, Live at the Electric Church (review here), was a duly admirable showcase of energy, and Valley of Shadows brings that sense of performance to bear as well, but the context in which it does has shifted, as opener “Black Magic Summer” sets a tone not of riotousness, but of a more complex and mood-aware craft. Vocalist/guitarist Tom Frank maintains a characteristic approach with backing by guitarist/engineer Jeff Hensen and bassist Shaun Avants, and Valley of Shadows marks the first appearance of drummer Justin Collins. It would be a stretch to place a shift in sound or style solely at the feet of any single lineup change, and rather, as cuts like “Red Moon Forming” and “Strike and Disappear” play out across the album’s A side, the case seems to be simply one of Duel maturing as a band. If it seems like that’s happening quickly — the debut was three years ago, remember — it is, but one might consider the accelerant of the work they’ve put in on tour and in the studio and the continued urgency of their creativity.

At least part of Valley of Shadows seems to be directly related to processing the last three years’ efforts, as though their time in the studio was a chance to catch their breath and look back. “Black Magic Summer” could easily be a touring song, and likewise “Drifting Alone,” “Strike and Disappear,” “Tyrant on the Throne” and “I Feel No Pain.” And even if that’s not a running theme couched in metaphors of northern moons and autocratic rule, the contemplative, slower Thin Lizzy pace of the opener lends itself to a particular wistfulness, and even as the steady kick drum of “Red Moon Forming” shoves the listener through the track’s four minutes accompanied by a run of dual-guitars and one of the record’s most potent hooks, that more considered vibe holds sway. The arrangement of backing vocals in “Red Moon Forming,” or the subtle changes in guitar and bass in the verse and the careening feel into the chorus, the layering of solos: it all speaks to Duel not only putting more time into making Valley of Shadows — which I don’t know that they did — but being unafraid of going wherever they need to in order to best serve the song.

duel

Unsurprisingly, “Drifting Alone” carries a melancholy feel, but still picks up for an engaging chorus peppered with backing vocals and a solo deeper in the mix. A bit of effects after the midsection and hints toward vocal harmony across channels lead to the payoff and a cold finish, bringing on “Strike and Disappear,” an album highlight that sets the most sentimental-sounding movement of Valley of Shadows directly against a Motörhead-inspired thrust that consumes the track’s second half in commanding fashion with a forward kick in energy that portends what follows on side B when “Broken Mirror” gets rolling. “Strike and Disappear” is excellently placed after “Drifting Alone,” as Duel have already by then established what seem to be the rules of the album in terms of how far they’ll go either way in terms of mood, and then essentially they shatter those rules by pushing to new limits on both sides. So it goes with the album as a whole in relation to their past work.

“Broken Mirror” taps proto-thrash riffing and is even shorter than its 4:04 runtime implies, cutting off at 3:43 to a kind of echoing and manipulated laughter as a leadout/intro to “Tyrant on the Throne,” which immediately casts its victory in soaring leads and a charging riff. Sure to be a highlight live, it nonetheless carries a studio-born nuance in intertwining guitars and vocal lines, married to a confidence of presentation that makes the whole thing not just believable, but able to bring the audience up to its level. That is, it is executed without posturing and the triumph it conveys is earned and all the more satisfying because of that. More residual hum transitions into the volume trades of “I Feel No Pain,” with its subdued verses and explosive chorus and bridge working to tie the ups and downs of Valley of Shadows together ahead of the stage-ready blowout of “The Bleeding Heart,” which is the longest track at 5:55, but fades out approaching its fifth minute as a wash of keys makes its way in and ultimately serves as the band’s closing statement.

Does it portend things still to come? More to say on the part of the band? Is it an atmospheric expression of the quiet when the show is over? Was it just a sound they made in the studio and thought might work to sneak in at the end of the vinyl? No clue, but even after the fade of “The Bleeding Heart,” it serves as a way of bringing the listener back to reality once the album has finished, and whether or not that was the intent at its inclusion, it is one more way in which Valley of Shadows feels complete in its execution from front to back. Duel have been on a tear since the outset, but they surpass even the lofty expectations they’ve amassed here, and the question that remains is how much farther they’ll continue to push and where that might lead them sound-wise in the longer term. That of course will be seen over time, but even that the question has moved to what they’ll do over “the longer term” is indicative of the staying power so evident in their work. Valley of Shadows sounds like the work of a band here to stay.

Duel on Thee Facebooks

Duel on Bandcamp

Heavy Psych Sounds on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

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Duel Announce European Tour Supporting Valley of Shadows

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

duel

Pretty easy argument to make that Duel‘s Valley of Shadows is among the most anticipated heavy rock albums of the Spring. It’ll be the third full-length on Heavy Psych Sounds for the Austin, Texas, four-piece, and though a European tour was long suspected for their having been announced as taking part at Freak Valley 2019, the extensive nature of that tour, now unveiled in its entirety, is nonetheless significant. They’ll spend a month-solid on the road overseas, and in addition to Freak Valley, they’re set for Black Deer Fest in London and Freaking Out Fest in Munich, which is a new one to me. Curious, that is, but the point is that Duel will cover a good amount of ground throughout June and into July as they go and hit some fests along the way. There are still a couple dates TBA, but even so, it looks like a packed tour. Good thing Duel kick ass live.

Shows came down the PR wire:

duel tour poster

*** DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS EUROPEAN TOUR 2019 ***

Dealing their own brand of dark boogie, the band has earned a reputation with their beer soaked high energy live performances, relentless touring, writing and recording schedule. Since 2016 DUEL has released 3 albums with their 4th LP Valley of Shadows set to be released via Heavy Psych Sounds Records on May 17th of 2019.

DUEL is about to embark on their sixth extensive European tour once again hitting many of the major festivals that they have in the past, Desert Fest, Freak Valley, Stick and Stone, Black Deer Fest in the UK and many more. The band has also stayed extremely busy at home in the United States will 2 full tours last year hitting many of the Stoner Doom festivals with many more to come in 2019.

DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS EUROPEAN TOUR 2019
06.06.2019 IT Roma-Traffic
07.06.2019 IT Parma-Splinter
08.06.2019 IT Alessandria-Cascina Bellaria
09.06.2019 FR Lyon-Le Farmer
10.06.2019 FR Chambery-Le Brin De Zinc
11.06.2019 DE Basel-Loch or Freisitz
12.06.2019 DE Tubingen-Hausbar neben der Sitiftskirche
13.06.2019 DE Augsburg-City Club
14.06.2019 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk
15.06.2019 CH Oberentfelden-Borom Pom Pom
16.06.2019 BE Zottegem-Kaffee Maboel
17.06.2019 UK Bristol-The Old England
18.06.2019 UK TBA
19.06.2019 UK TBA
20.06.2019 DE Siegen-Freak Valley Festival
21.06.2019 UK London-Black Deer Fest
22.06.2019 DE Munich-Freaking Out Fest
23.06.2019 DE TBA
24.06.2019 DE Dresden-Ostpol
25.06.2019 DE Berlin-Toast Hawaii
26.06.2019 DE Leipzig-Black Label
27.06.2019 DE Mannheim-7er
28.06.2019 FR Bourlon-Rock Im Bourlon
29.06.2019 FR TBA
01.07.2019 FR Tuluse-Usine a Musique
02.07.2019 FR Nantes-La Scene Michelet
04.07.2019 IT Torino-Blah Blah
05.07.2019 AT Nikolsdorf-Stick&Stone
06.07.2019 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
07.07.2019 IT Castel D’Ario-Hostaria

DUEL is:
Tom Frank – Vocals / Guitar
Jeff Henson – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Backing Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Witchbanger (2017)

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Duel Announce New Album Valley of Shadows Due May 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I give Duel immediate points here for not calling their new album Witchbanger 2. Really, there was no way the Austin-based heavy rockers weren’t putting out an album this year. They just have too much going on, having already been confirmed for such geographically diverse events as Monolith of the Mesa in New Mexico, Freak Valley in Germany, Black Deer Fest in London, Desertfest New York and SXSW in their hometown. That’s an awfully busy Spring to not coincide with a new release, and sure enough, the forthcoming Valley of Shadows will see issue on May 17 — preorders Feb. 27 — as the follow-up to 2016’s Fears of the Dead (review here) and 2017’s Witchbanger (review here), as well as last year’s live outing, Live at the Electric Church (review here), that only seemed to cement the reputation as a stage act that is beginning to precede them. Happy to report that, having been fortunate enough to catch them at last year’s Maryland Doom Fest (review here), indeed, that reputation is being well earned.

Expect to hear a lot about these guys this year. They’ve got excellent momentum coming into this release, and especially as they’re recording themselves, they seem all the more primed to really let loose with something special. I’m stoked to find out.

From the PR wire:

duel valley of shadows

DUEL – VALLEY OF SHADOWS – cover & details

Heavy Psych Sounds Records is proud to reveal the first and hotly anticipated details of DUEL’s forthcoming album VALLEY OF SHADOWS !!!

RELEASE DATE:
MAY 17th

PRESALE STARTS:
FEBRUARY 27th

The Texas occult rockers conjure up another heavy dose of tripped out old school doom metal with their third full length, Valley of Shadows, set to be released May 17th. More blood splattered tales of black magic, sex, ancient curses and devils on the streets, with eight epic and infectious rippers showing a wider range of the bands song writing abilities from psychedelic heavy metal anthems to Thin Lizzy esque dueling guitars to full blast Motorhead shredding! Their deepest cuts yet recorded over a period of winter months by DUEL guitarist Jeff Henson at the infamous Red Nova Ranch studio, located in the desert wastelands of Texas just outside of Austin. Mastered by Alberto de Icaza, Valley of Shadows leads us into an all night smoked out, mushroom fueled sessions with each tune. What could be the bands best collaboration to date, a rock solid album from start to finish!

GATEFOLD SLEEVE VINYLS AVAILABLE IN:
40 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
250 ULTRA LTD BABY BLUE VINYL
500 LTD RED TRANSPARENT – SPLATTER BLACK/BLUE/WHITE/YELLOW
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
DIGITAL

TRACKLIST
1. Black magic summer
2. Red moon forming
3. Drifting alone
4. Strike and Disappear
5. Broken Mirror
6. Tyrant on the throne
7. I feel no pain
8. The bleeding heart

DUEL is:
Tom Frank – Vocals / Guitar
Jeff Henson – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Backing Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Witchbanger (2017)

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