Valley of Thorns


Valley of Thorns will bring metal sound to Gordon’s

By From page B1 | July 19, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Valley of Thorns is ready to rock Gordon’s Music and Sound Sunday night.

The four-piece band has its roots in the metal band Morituri where members Patricia Killelea, Dan Lehnhard and Chris Blaney were bandmates. The group was together for about a year.

Late last summer, Lehnhard and Blaney began jamming with drummer Zac Lopez. Killelea joined in September 2012.

The band has kept busy since then, playing several times at Cheers in Vacaville, The Colony in Sacramento and with a gig Friday at The Red Hat in Concord.

“Technically, our first show was actually in my back yard that got shut down by the police after 10 minutes,” Lehnhard wrote in an email to the Daily Republic.

The band played at Festum Carnis 2013, an out-in-the-woods metal music festival.

Killelea is a doctoral student residing in Davis. She teaches in the Native American Studies department at University of California, Davis.

Lopez lives in Suisun City and is an apprentice tattoo artist. He also works with a local nonprofit group, The Handy House of Art and Science, based in Vallejo.

Lehnhard is from the Fairfield-Suisun area. He’s also part of The Handy House of Art and Science.

Blaney is looking into online businesses and trying to find some new employment.

All members contribute to the songwriting process. Most of the songs originate from jamming.

It’s a fondness for metal music that brings them together.

“I think we share similar musical tastes in that we all love metal music,” Killelea wrote. “In some ways, we each play a different kind of style. For example, Dan is heavily influenced by black metal and I consider myself more influenced by doom metal.

“One of the things that stands out to me, actually, is the fact that we have a diverse range in our sound. Valley of Thorns can’t quite be pigeonholed into one subset of the metal genre, and we like it that way.”

Lopez simply defines the band’s sound as, “Metal. Our own kind of metal.”

Valley of Thorns is often labeled as black metal, Lehnhard said.

“We never really said ‘hey lets start a black metal band.’ This is just what comes out of us,” he wrote. “I am thrilled that no one can really find a band that we sound like, though.”

This is the band’s first time playing at Gordon’s.

Killelea, a graduate of Armijo High School, used to pass by Gordon’s after school. She gives the business kudos for its concert series, saying it plays a key role in offering a safe place for youth to gather and express themselves.

“Just the fact Fairfield finally has a place for all the musicians to have a chance to play is amazing,” Lopez wrote.

Lehnhard echoed those sentiments in an email, “It’s pretty awesome to have the opportunity for us to play and bring our very different type of metal to the city we all kind of grew up in.”

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Gordon’s Music and Sound Summer Concert Series:

  • 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday
  • Jesus and the Dinosaurs, Modern Kicks, The Cut Throats, Valley of Thorns
  • 810 Texas St., Fairfield
  • 422-0313
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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