“This is the most compelling evidence for extraterrestrial life that I have ever seen.”
Such was my reaction after checking out a particularly enlightening interview with Valient Himself, frontman for the band Valient Thorr. Himself, in this interview and numerous others, claims that he and his four band members are originally from Venus—or more accurately, from the inside of Venus, seeing as all its inhabitants went underground after overpopulation, nuclear warfare, and the heat from planet-wide sulfur clouds rendered the surface inhospitable.
He delivers a rambling (yet oddly convincing) origin story quickly and with hurried breath, finally stopping long enough to let bassist Dr. Professor Nitewolf Strangees be the elucidator. Nitewolf explains that the place most people think they’re from—Chapel Hill, N.C.—is really just Valient Thorr’s surrogate Earth home; a close facsimile of what it’s like on their own planet, only with a more barbecue restaurants and less noxious clouds. If they’re joking, it’s veiled beneath those monstrous patches of facial hair and Valient’s intense gaze.
That said, fans of Motörhead and “Bark at the Moon”-era Ozzy may want to start pricing tickets to Venus quickly, if Valient Thorr is any indication of the music scene there. Lemmy and Ozzy are the forefathers of what’s coming to be known as “beard metal”—a high octane mix of thrash and stoner metal that hates razors but loves super cheap beer—and few metal bands can bring such an unadulterated sound to a smaller stage the way Valient Thorr can.
Between dueling lead lines, staccato thunder-drumming and shirtless convulsions, the band harkens back to the days when denim and PBR were not the realm of the hipster, but the blue-collar forklift driver who lived in his parents’ basement and banged his head to his Walkman all day. It was that guy who really got what Valient Thorr’s interplanetary mission is all about. —Patrick Noland
9 p.m. • Wednesday, July 18
231 MLK Blvd.