This week, Valley of Steel officially celebrates the milestone of TEN YEARS since first emerging from the ether of cyberspace.
It has been a bumpy ride and the publishing schedule has certainly been irregular and unpredictable much of the time, but inconceivably the site is still puttering along.
A huge THANK YOU to every person reading these words on this page, or who has ever read any of the words that have been published here; I sincerely hope you have found at least one thing you’ve enjoyed, and hope that you continue to do so. To anyone who has ever submitted anything that has been written about (even time has not allowed said writing to take place yet). And most of all to the musicians, thank you — please keep doing what you do, and I’ll keep doing what I do.
Happy New Year! As promised, we’re finally starting to dive into some new releases that are coming out. Today I also wanted to catch up on a slightly older release that I missed writing about the first time around, because — well, because 2020. Time to get fuzzy…
Stone Machine Electric – The Inexplicable Vibrations of Frequencies Within the Cosmic Netherworld (Desert Records, 04 December 2020)
Mud Spencer – Fuzz Soup (Argonauta Records, 21 January 2022)
Well, another day, another couple of records I’d like to call your attention to. These both came out during the first half of last year, and both inhabit kind of the mellower end of the sound spectrum, ranging from prog rock to a sort of minimalistic classical/jazz. Here we go!
35 Tapes – Home (Apollon Records, 12 February 2021)
Ole Teigen – Aske og Jord (Apollon Records, 02 June 2021)
Good morning, and here comes some more music for you all to start off your week with!
Don’t worry, I know how to operate a calendar, and I realize it’s Tuesday. But yesterday was a federal holiday here in the U.S., as well as a snow day, so we lazily decided to have ourselves a nice extended weekend.
But today we’re back on track, and I would like to call your attention to an album I particularly enjoyed when it came out last summer. Again, I assure you, I do know how calendars work, and I do realize we’re now into the third week of the new year. Within the next few days I promise the first review of a new 2022 release will be coming! But we’ve still got plenty of older ones to cover that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Like this one: the fourth album overall (and the first in 27 years!) by San Franciscan band Mordred — who, by the way, will be playing their first hometown show of the year this coming weekend, alongside fellow local thrashers Death Angel. Details on tickets (both in-person and live-stream) to be found below.
Mordred – The Dark Parade (M-Theory Audio, 23 July 2021)
Hello out there! In the immortal words of the Barenaked Ladies, it’s been…
Seven days since we got together here, at which time I had shared two albums with you by bands who coincidentally had similar-sounding names, but otherwise had little in common.
Today I’ve got another pair of albums by similarly-named artists, which happened to be released in close proximity to each other — just over and just under a year ago. In this case, while both are still fairly disparate, at least they would both be found somewhere on the doom spectrum… or if nothing else, maybe doom-adjacent? Enjoy!
Sunyata – The Great Beyond (self-released, 11 November 2020)
Sunnata – Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth (self-released, 26 February 2021)
These albums, one nearly three years old and the other reaching its first birthday later this month, have practically nothing in common with each other besides the fact that both bands’ names are lengthy phrases about owls. But sometimes little things like that can randomly grab your attention, and then you accidentally discover that there’s some great music inside, too. I think you just might find this to be the case with either or both of these releases…
The Owls Are Not What They Seem – Feral Blood (Eleventh Key, 19 March 2019)
And Now the Owls Are Smiling – Dirges (Clobber Records, 29 January 2021)
Good afternoon, friends; Happy Monday and Happy New Year to you all!
Now that my Top 21 of 2021 list is complete (it was published right as the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve, so, I’m proud to say, this has been the first time in quite a long time — maybe like nine years? — that the year-end list was ready AT the actual end of the year!), I’m setting my sights on checking out all the new 2022 releases that have been pouring in, so I can start sharing them with all you lovely people.
But as always, there’s still a bunch of cleanup to do, plenty of releases from last year (as well as from years past) that we’ve missed discussing, and I’d like to start today by offering two of those for your listening pleasure.
Kite – Currents (Majestic Mountain Records, 08 October 2021)
So Hideous – None But a Pure Heart Can Sing (Silent Pendulum Records, 03 December 2021)