REVIEW: DUEL – Fears Of The Dead (2016)


Former Scorpion Child men find their inner voice

You don’t get to be part of a band that made an album as good as the full-length début from Scorpion Child was without your next project being highly anticipated.

So, when it was announced that Tom Frank and Shaun Avants (who left the band in 2014) were now part of Duel, a lot of people got very excited.

On that basis, therefore,  lot of people are going to be very happy indeed, because this eight tracker is simply superb.

Brilliantly this isn’t SC mk II. If The Child were more Led Zep and Rainbow, all riffs and mysticism, then Duel, keep things just a little simpler. Their world is a bar in which Clutch could drink with Thin Lizzy and everyone could get roaring drunk to the Classic Rock jukebox in the corner.

Kicking off with its title track, and immediately swinging it’s ace in our direction with something close to glee, and if the middle part of the song does occupy some kind of astral plain, then it’s only to make the end section even more damn fun.

The sound of 1970s rock n roll is all over “This Old Crow”, while “The Kraken” is nothing more than debauchery made flesh and there’s a pleasing groove to all of them. Not least of which sees “Fell To The Earth” end side A as if Neil Fallon’s life depends on it.

The sides are crucial and you suspect the whole thing was designed with the analog rather than the digital. The band don’t want you to Spotify this, or buy it on iTunes. Instead they want you to sit with your headphones on listening to it all in a one go – or better still, go and see them live, which would surely be tremendous fun.

The pummelling “On The Edge” starts side two in strident fashion, the magnificent “Electricity”  isn’t a million miles from our very own Gentlemen’s Pistols, and you can pay “When The Pigs Are Fed” no higher compliment than to say that Phil Lynott would surely approve of it.

One of Duel’s skills though – and trust us there are many – is the ability to surprise. “Locked Outside” is a near eight minute jam of the highest order, with Frank – who has moved from rhythm to lead with aplomb, as well as taking vocal duties – excelling.

Whether Avants and Frank manage to gain the worldwide acclaim of their former employers with Duel who knows, but they are in a four piece that sounds like it’s having the time of its life.

Rating 9/10


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