Album Review: Conan – Live At Freak Valley

Album Review: Conan - Live At Freak Valley
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Few bands can match the distortion and down-tuned aural abuse that Liverpool’s Conan have been dishing out for over 15 years. If you’ve ever seen them live, you’ll know about the sonic impact that their music has on the vital organs.

‘Live at Freak Valley’ is the band’s third live release and follows their self-released Live at Bannermans from 2015. This release serves as the perfect demonstration of how intense the band are. Opening with the massive fuzz of ‘Cavity Chasm’, this is the caveman battle doom par excellence. Jon Davis’ screams with his blood chilling screams, the echoing roars hang in the air like mist. The riffs are thick, so thick that both hands fail to grapple with the girth.

‘Hawk as a Weapon’, a song about death from the skies is pulverising. The sheer power and relentless barrage maintaining an assault that pins you into your chair. The pace slows to a sludgy, punishing finale with the crowd providing a deserved ovation. A wall of feedback links tracks; the pace increasing intermittently on ‘Satsumo’ before the shift to even more gargantuan riffage. It’s described as an ‘orgy of intensity’ and it’s hard to disagree with that statement. Despite all the monolithic paced songs, it’s the closing track ‘Revengeance’ with its high tempo and semi-death thrash feel that reminds you, should you need it that there is more to Conan than mere sky-shattering riffing.

The album is produced and mixed by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio, with a strictly limited white / black marbled (ltd to 200) and a grey double LP Gatefold amongst the options available.

‘Live at Freak Valley’ is another reminder, if one were needed, that Conan stand at the very pinnacle of their genre. Pulverising from opening chord to last beat, little can match the sheer intensity of this band. Hail Conan!

For all the latest news, reviews, interviews across the heavy metal spectrum follow THE RAZORS'S EDGE on facebook, twitter and instagram.