Swan Valley Heights
(ST)
2016
Crank this to 10.2 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Genre:
Stoner rock
Sounds Like:
Samsara Blues Experiment, Arenna
The Germany based trio's debut Self-Titled album is wise beyond its years. Swan Valley Heights delivers a very mature and tight album that strategically spirals through classic stoner, doom, sludge and ethereal space laden rock. The threesome have a very natural chemistry that can best be described as majestic. This album will lift your spirits and have you floating above the clouds.

What are the highlights of the album?
The album is loaded with highlights, but "Mountain" is a fucking masterpiece. You talk about a song that will involuntarily forces your arm to raise to the sky, give this one a listen at a minimum and you will find yourself hooked on Swan Valley Heights. Also, checkout the bass-work on "River" that kicks in at about the 8 minute mark... downright impressive. "Alaska" is probably the runner up to "Mountain," great patience and swirling guitar-work here.

How is the vocal performance?
Kreisl's vocals have the perfect balance of echo and tone. While the album features some amazing instrumental tangents, Kreisl's vocals become addictive. We found ourselves yearning to hear him pipe in after several minutes of jamming. Perhaps this is what makes the album special.

Does the album art reflect the music?
Somewhat. The artwork is impressive and we see hints of the tree limbs and wilderness, but the female and flowing hair is a little out of place for us. We envisioned an expansive outdoor landscape to go with this one.  

Two words that best describe this album?
Majestic fuzz

What other bands do we recommend if Swan Valley Heights appeals to you?
Certainly give Mindfunk and their album Dropped a listen. The instrumental craftsmanship is equally as impressive and similar to this album, our spirits lift further once the vocals kick in. Also, take a look at our review of Mother Engine, a three-piece band from Germany that score a very rare 10 on the dial. Swan Valley gets a scooch higher due to the infusion of high-end vocals.

What adult beverage do we recommend while listening to this album?
Lagunitas Maximus. At 8.25 % ABV this craft beer packs a punch. The tones are very original as there is a boatload of texture and originality.

How about food?
Bratwurst with some mashed potatoes and sauerkraut no doubt.

What activity is best to partake in during the listening of this album?
A nice majestic hike on a beautiful Fall day in New England.

What are our final thoughts?
Swan Valley Heights have a chemistry so hard to find these days. Their energy and vision is quite apparent on this debut album. The lengthy song structures never tire allowing the listener to escape and not confront any blips or poor song choices. Ultimately the flow of the album works so well. Swan Valley Heights stays within their means to deliver an extremely tight album. It's not often we crank a review beyond 10 on the rotation dial. That alone should tell you this album needs to be in your collection. This one will be in heavy rotation for years to come. - 6/20/2016

Band Members:
David Kreisl - Vocals & Guitar
Andy Heib - Drums & Keys
Chris Schmidt - Bass

Tracklist:
1. Slow Planet (7:23)
2. Alaska (9:09)
3. Mammoth (11:02)
4. Let Your Hair Down (9:35)
5. Caligula Overdrive (6:20)
6. Mountain (9:37)
7. River (11:53)

Follow Swan Valley Heights: Bandcamp / Facebook
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