Hey, Look: Another New Borracho Video

 
Well here’s something interesting. Turns out Borracho has got a video out for another song from last year’s album Splitting Sky.

This song, “All in Play” is one of the more mellow, laid back grooves on the album — and at nearly nine minutes, definitely one of the longer ones.

The last few minutes of the song are made up of an extended fuzzy guitar jam, the kind where if you’re playing Guitar Hero, your fingers are about to fall off and you keep on wondering if the song is going to end soon!

But you aren’t playing Guitar Hero, you’re just kicking back and enjoying the pretty pictures of huge natural phenomena like waterfalls and volcanos, and possibly enhancing your listening pleasure with some sort of herbal supplement from your local pharmacy. Who knows.

 
Here’s the new video:

 
Continue reading

Out Today: Power Theory – An Axe to Grind

 

Power TheoryAn Axe to Grind (29 June 2012, Pure Steel Records)

 
So who out there is heading out to the Warriors of Metal Open Air Festival today (or tomorrow, or both days)?

Well, I suppose if you were going today, you’d be there already. But I dunno, maybe you’re heading out later in the afternoon, or maybe you’re catching up on the latest Valley of Steel updates in between bands or something…

Myself, although I’ve been reporting about it for months, unfortunately I’m stuck here at work, which is pretty shitty because it sounds like it’s going to be an awesome time! (Although the heat and humidity are forecasted to be pretty brutal this weekend — hell, when I left home at 5:30 this morning the air was already difficult to breathe — so anyone who’s attending, have fun, but be sure to drink lots of water!)

Although it sucks I’ll be stuck inside a boring office all day with no throngs of screaming metalheads (and no alcohol), at least I can try to make myself feel better by listening to some heavy tunes. No matter how high I turn the volume on this computer, I know a pair of headphones will never compare to a huge stack of speakers on an outdoor stage, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Anyway, when I was trying to decide exactly what I should be blasting into my ears today, the perfect choice suddenly became obvious: the brand new Power Theory album! Not only is German label Pure Steel Records releasing An Axe to Grind today, but the band will be celebrating that release when they take the stage at WOM this evening!

Maybe I won’t be there to see it live, but I can at least experience it vicariously through the studio version — and for all those readers out there who are also unable to make it to the Frontier Ranch in Pataskala Ohio, I’ll tell you where you can hear some Power Theory too, and where you can get your own copy of this album.

 
Continue reading

A Brand New TrollfesT Song? Free Download? Yes, Please!!

image
 

That’s right, everyone’s favoreite True Norwegian Balkan Metal band TrollfesT, in conjunction with their label NoiseArt Records, have made one of the songs from their upcoming album Brumlebassen available as a FREE MP3 download!

All you need to do to take advantage is: go to the NoiseArt website, click the link and subscribe to their newsletter.  That’s it!

The song will be available for download for one week only, so hurry!  (Offer ends next Friday, 06 July).

 
Continue reading

Out Last Month: The Reticent – Le Temps Detruit Tout

 

The ReticentLe Temps Detruit Tout (Heaven and Hell Records, 29 May 2012)

 
Well, shit.

I hate when I feel so overwhelmed by all the stuff I’ve got going on, that I start forgetting about things I was planning on doing. Does that happen to you? It’s like, everything needs my attention, everything needs to be a priority, and some stuff just unfortunately ends up falling through the cracks.

For example: it was about six weeks ago that I wrote about The Reticent — that post was just a comment on a news item about a politically-charged message that the band’s mastermind (and sole member) Chris Hathcock had shared on his Facebook page. But, at the same time, I had mentioned the (then) upcoming album (the band’s third full-length) Le Temps Detruit Tout (“Time Destroys All”), and I did mention then that I was planning on writing a review for the album.

Well, two weeks later, the album came out (on Heaven and Hell Records, who also released the previous two — in fact, the band’s 2006 debut Hymns for the Dejected was the first album that label ever released). And since then another four weeks have passed, and now I find myself digging through some unfinished drafts, when I stumbled upon this one. Not only did I forget to finish writing the review, but I almost shared this too late for you to enter the contest to win a copy of the CD!

When I say almost too late, I really mean it — the contest ends tomorrow (Friday, 29 June), so keep on reading, but then hurry up and hit the link near the end of this post, for your chance to win!!

 
Continue reading

Now Hear This: New A Band of Orcs Song Now Streaming!

 
Well, I feel like I’ve just had my head repeatedly bludgeoned, between an enormous hammer and and an even enormous-er anvil.

And I’m about to go back and do it again.

If that sounds appealing to you, too, then feel free to join me… head on over to Hails and Horns, where they are streaming the first single off A Band of Orcs‘ upcoming album Adding Heads to the Pile, “In the Keeper’s Chamber”!

They’ve also collected quite a bit of information on that page about the story of the band and of their soon-to-be-released concept album, so be sure to check that out while you’re there!

“In the Keeper’s Chamber” is due to be released on Saturday (30 June) as a downloadable single, in advance of the album’s August release (via Itchy Metal). If the rest of the songs are as brutal and punishing as this one, then I’ll definitely be counting down the days until then!

As of right now, the album is expected to come out on CD and digital download, but (as you may recall) the orcs are also taking pre-orders for an incredible 2xLP picture-disc vinyl package (through Kickstarter) — click here for the full details on that, and hurry up if you’re interested, because there’s less than a week remaining for them to achieve their target amount to be able to afford to get the records manufactured! (FYI, a free download of this song is just one of the many glorious rewards that await you for your contributions…)

 
——————————————
A Band of Orcs: website, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube
Hails and Horns: website, Facebook

Upcoming Shows: What To Do In Pittsburgh This Weekend (28-30 June)

Good afternoon! For those who will be in or around the local area this weekend, the Valley of Steel blog is proud to present you with: What To Do In Pittsburgh This Weekend!

Once again, there is a TON of stuff going on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, and I’ve collected as many events here as I could! (But once again, I’m only human, and if you know about anything else that’s happening, either this week or anytime in the future, please be sure to let me know!)

Continue reading

Out Now: Strong Intention – Razorblade Express

 

Strong IntentionRazorblade Express (02 July 2012, Patac Records)

 
Maybe it’s because of when I was born (after Star Wars but before The Empire Strikes Back) — I just barely missed out on the original genesis of both the punk and heavy metal movements; I was too young to get much exposure to either genre until the late 80s, and when I did start listening to some of the stuff in my pre-teen years and beyond, I didn’t really have any sense of the history behind either scene or the animosity that existed between them…

I don’t know what the explanation is, exactly, but I do know I’ve always had one foot on each side of the line, not really caring about definitions or labels or exactly what separates “punk” from “metal” — and in fact, I tend to gravitate towards stuff that has a little of both flavors (and attitudes) mixed in. I’ve never understood the mindset of people who seem to think they have to pick a side, and refuse to acknowledge anything that the other team has done. To me, if it sounds good, it sounds good — it doesn’t matter what you call it.

That’s why I don’t really get the attitude of the folks who maintain the Encyclopædia Metallum, who (from what I’ve heard) are very particular about genre classifications, and extremely selective about which bands they approve for inclusion in their archives. Almost entirely absent from that compendium of musical knowledge: anyone who would be considered more closely associated with the realms of hardcore or punk (including grindcore or crust) than what they consider “real” metal. Where exactly the line is drawn, though, isn’t always completely clear. For example, it seems Napalm Death qualified as exceptions to the rule, as did Motörhead, yet the Misfits seem to have been overlooked — despite being no less influential in the metal world than either of the others.

Anyway, I could go on rambling about this for the rest of the day (and I’d be glad to hear YOUR thoughts on the subject — just visit the comments section below, or hit the VoS Facebook page, whatever works for you), but I really came here just to share some new music with you. That would be the new EP by Strong Intention, Razorback Express — now available on 7″ vinyl through Patac Records!

 
Continue reading

New Music Roundup: Dead Trooper, Auroch, Project Mars, Ever Circling Wolves

Hello out there on the other side of the computer screen! How are things where you are? Here, it was a pretty typical Monday. Back to work, feeling half-asleep all day long, struggling to do simple things like remember my network password…

Sounds like lots of fun, doesn’t it? Yeah, not so much. Times like this, it’s pretty tough to stay focused on anything for very long. So just to warn you, this will end up being a pretty disjointed post! I’ve been hearing about upcoming new music from a bunch of different places over the past few days, so basically I’ve assembled a collection of previews for you — some you can listen to, some you can watch, and some you can download.

There’s a pretty wide variety in this assortment of songs, so chances are, you’ll find something here that appeals to you. If you see/hear something you find interesting, let me know! It’s always nice to know what resonates with you, the reader, so I can be sure to put more effort into stuff like that. And if you don’t find anything you like here, then definitely let me know, and I’ll try harder next time!

Anyway, here we go…

 
Continue reading

Just Released: Dead Guys – Duties

 

Dead GuysDuties (self released, 02 June 2012)

 
Hey there, folks. How’s it going? (For the record, that question isn’t always rhetorical — if the mood ever strikes you, you can feel free to hit me with some feedback using the comments section at the bottom of each post!)

It’s Saturday, and I’m in sort of a mellow mood, myself. It’s been a long week, and we especially tend to get pretty busy at work as we get closer to the end of the month — hooray for accounting — with the peak usually coming about a week before month-end, so in other words, approximately yesterday. I wouldn’t say that what I do is particularly difficult or strenuous, but sometimes it can be very mentally taxing or feel overwhelming at times. So like I said, I’m basically in the mood for relaxing this weekend.

I’ve mentioned before about how sometimes I need to step outside of the “metal music” box, and treat my ears to something a little different. I’d wager that’s true about everybody: it’s hard to listen to nothing but amps turned up to eleven, pounding drums, and screaming vocals all day every day. Sometimes you need some variety in your life, and for me, today is one of those days.

So I’ve got some mellow bluesy rock to share with you today — but of course I don’t expect all of you readers to be feeling exactly the same way I am when I write these posts! That’s why there’s a whole archive of stuff out there for you to check out (about 193 articles not including this one); surely there’s something there that’ll tickle your fancy. And then the next time you’re feeling like you’re in the mood for some mellow bluesy rock, you can come back to this one. Or even better — I’ll give you the chance to download this EP for free, and then you can hang on to it to listen to anytime you choose!

 
Continue reading

Contest Alert: Fatality Seeking the Silliest Silly Walk!

 
Happy Friday, readers! Just a few more hours left ’til quitting time, which means no more work until next week… You have no idea how nice it feels to say that. I think I’ll say it again: HAPPY FRIDAY!!

 
It has turned out to be kind of a dreary day, and of course it’s made all the more dreary simply from being at work. Feels like it’s about time for something to lighten the mood a bit, and I’ve found something perfect for that! If you’re as big of a Monty Python fan as I am, or if you’re as big of a thrash metal fan, or especially, if you’re heavily into both, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to this…

 
One of the most famous Monty Python’s Flying Circus segments of all time was the wildly popular “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch. It seems this is exactly what came to mind when guitarists Spencer Le Von and Eytan Gordon of Canadian thrash quartet Fatality were really bored one night and tried to think of a way to amuse themselves. As Spencer (who is also the band’s vocalist, and writer of the band’s official blog) wrote in a blog post earlier this month:

 

…It took a while for me to realize how astonishingly important killing time is as a musician. It is a vital component of what we do. Whether it is mind bending travel time to a gig or waiting to perform, metal musicians have killing time down to a delicate science, and a band that laughs together stays together.
 
To better illustrate this point we have devised a CONTEST based on our latest “weekly challenge” video. The video involves Eytan and I acting like complete assholes in public, because that is what makes us laugh and that’s what we find funny.
 
For this video we decided to pay tribute to Monty Python and the Ministry of Silly Walks. In this clip you can see me and Eytan going for a swift jaunt in our local Metro to purchase some late night munchies.

 

 
For their contest, the band want you to take a video of the silliest walk you can come up with, and then submit the video to their Facebook page.

The person who submits the silliest video (as judged by the band themselves) will win a cool prize pack including the following:

  • Free Fatality T-Shirt
  • Free CD
  • Free patch, beer cozie or 3 pins
  • 2 free tickets to our next local show (if applicable)

 
This contest was first announced about two weeks ago — there was an update on the band’s Facebook page earlier this week stating that they’re still looking for submissions, but I haven’t heard any official word about a deadline. It seems like the contest is pretty informal, but you won’t want to miss out on these great prizes so you’d better get stepping… as silly as you can!

 
Oh, and just in case you aren’t already familiar with Fatality’s material, and you want to get a better idea of what you’d be winning, I’ve got some stuff here for you to hear — including several tracks you can download for FREE…

 
Continue reading