Duel

Witchbanger (Heavy Psych Sounds)

Texas Platters

The path of stoner metal has been trod by so many bands that it's now as smooth as a baby's butt. Meaning, it's no easy task to make chugging hard rock with a tripped-out vibe sound fresh again, but Austin's Duel put a new coat of paint on a crumbling house with Witchbanger. Since last year's debut Fears of the Dead, the quartet's evolution has infused a punkish aggression with the epic sweep of the NWOBHM, motoring tracks such as "Devil" from the tar pit to the open road. Frontman Tom Frank's cracked cement vox conveys songs like "Tigers and Rainbows" and "Astro Gypsy" with the right balance of humor and absolute conviction, yet Witchbanger is mainly about love; Duel clearly relishes its mission and that dedication suffuses every gruff lyric and grungy power chord. The happiness with which they blast out the devil-horned riffs of "Cat's Eye" and the lighter-waving heartland metal of "Heart of the Sun" hits all the right genre notes with a flourish and a wild-eyed grin. Witchbanger is as much rocking fun as its title.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Duel
Doom Rockers Duel Conjure a Masterwork of Otherworldly Omnipresence
Doom Rockers Duel Conjure a Masterwork of Otherworldly Omnipresence
Locals work their black magic on new album Valley of Shadows

Alejandra Ramirez, May 17, 2019

Duel Album Review
Duel Album Review
Valley of Shadows (Heavy Psych Sounds)

Kevin Curtin, May 17, 2019

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Sabbath Crow
Carrion Highway Weird Sun (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Aug. 16, 2019

Texas Platters
USA/Mexico
Matamoros (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Aug. 16, 2019

More by Michael Toland
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Nov. 27, 2020

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Nov. 20, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Duel

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle