After five albums, Valient Thorr’s asphalt-burning stew of hardcore punk, NWOBHM, and ’70s boogie-rock should come as a surprise only to those who haven’t already had their asses thoroughly kicked by it. What is shocking is how the Venus-born, Chapel Hill-based quintet continues to improve with each album; Our Own Masters delivers all the hairy, sweaty, twin-guitar insanity of their live shows, yet also contains some of their most unabashedly sophisticated moments, like the contemplative space-blues guitar breakdown of “Torn Apart” or the epic (in the old-school sense) mood shifts of the closing “Call Off the Dogs”. Thorriors rejoice: This one’s a stone-cold killer. DAN EPSTEIN
Check out "Torn Apart" off Our Own Masters below.