Hello, friends. Regular visitors to this website have surely noticed that recently the volume of writing I am putting out there has significantly decreased. I apologize for that. But it hasn’t been the result of laziness, I assure you. I’ve been getting myself involved with a few other things — as I keep alluding to in several new posts over the past few weeks — and finally I want to let you know about one of those.
So, I have been asked to join the Pittsburgh-based record label The Innervenus Music Collective to help out with their PR and publicity. It’s a pretty exciting opportunty for me — first of all, as a writer I’ve been working with a variety of PR people and representatives from other labels, so I understand what’s involved, and it’s cool to be getting some experience from the other direction now. But even more than that, now I get to work directly with a group of people who do so much to support our local music scene — between planning shows and giving away the Iron Atrocity compilations, not to mention releasing albums from some really talented bands (Vulture, Invader, Fist Fight in the Parking Lot — just to name a few examples that I had written about last year)!
And so this new position has been using up a lot of my free time recently, mostly because we’re gearing up to put out two CDs in February: the debut full-length by grindcore/death dealers Grisly Amputation, and a self-titled EP by death-thrash-groove-sludge-core band Lycosa. I’ve been sending out promo materials to a whole slew of websites and magazines, so we should start seeing some reviews trickle in shortly, but I figure I wouldn’t really be doing my job (EITHER job – as a writer OR a publicist!) if I didn’t also inform you about the releases here on Valley of Steel!
The Innervenus Music Collective is proud to announce they will be releasing CDs by two bands who are each making waves in Pittsburgh’s underground metal scene. On 12 February 2013, the debut full-length album by old school death dealers Grisly Amputation (Cannibalistic Tendencies) and the debut release by “old fashioned steel town metal” band Lycosa (a five-track, self-titled EP) will both be hitting the streets.
Identified as old school American death metal/grindcore/deathgrind/goregrind, and fueled by Jack Daniels, PBR, and old horror movies, Grisly Amputation was founded in February 2010 by guitarist Gene Fikhman and drummer Chris Dissell after their band Scorched broke up. Wanting to take their new project in an old school death/grind direction, Gene first brought on board his fellow guitarist from steel city sludge band Vulture, Garrett Twardesky (ex-Shipwreck I Promised), who came up with the name Grisly Amputation. They started writing material, as well as trying out bass players and vocalists — eventually striking gold with Pat Butcher (ex-Lethal Prayer, ex-Omneity), a bassist who had previously worked with Garrett in First Day Dead; as well as newcomer Rob Grisly on vocals.
In the past year, the band has opened for numerous local bands as well as some national touring acts — including Nokturnal Hellstorm, Deceased, and most recently Cannibal Corpse, whose bassist Alex Webster (with whom Butcher had previously taken lessons) personally selected them as local support when his band’s tour hit Pittsburgh.
Grisly Amputation takes its inspiration from all over the spectrum of grind and death metal, although with a particular focus on west-coast and New York styles; their primary influences include such bands as Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Disgorge, Autopsy, Last Days of Humanity, Reinfection, Rompeprop, Cock and Ball Torture, Death, and Inhume.
Listen to Cannibalistic Tendencies here:
Lycosa is a spontaneous concoction of beer, music, and friends. Formed in October 2010 by vocalist Leech and drummer Chris (Iron Crown, ex-Evil Machine, ex-Reducer), who got together with a couple other friends and started writing and practicing in Chris’s basement. Within a few weeks, his wife Amy (Motorpsychos, Molasses Barge, ex-Reducer) joined on bass. The band played their first show in July 2011, working with a few different guitarists until Tree became the permanent replacement at that position in early 2012.
With lyrics that focus on story-telling (such as in opening track “Barbara,” inspired by the Pittsburgh-based cult classic film Night of the Living Dead), Leech’s vocals typically fall into the categories of grind or brutal death metal (with influences including Devourment, Prostitute Disfigurement, Terminally Your Aborted Ghost), but don’t just expect to hear the same old slams-and-squeals. The band draws inspiration from a wide array of sources — guitar riffs and solos in the style of old-school thrash such as Megadeth, and a rhythm section rooted in Melvins/Eyehategod-style sludge, just to name a few — which allows for plenty of variation between their songs.
Mostly, though, this is a quartet that’s all about FUN — they have a great chemistry together because they started out as good friends before being bandmates, and they still are: spending time hanging out, drinking beer, going to shows together, etc. — and above all, not taking themselves too serious. They call themselves serious musicians, but with the souls of clowns.
You can hear the Lycosa EP right here:
The Innervenus Music Collective will be hosting a dual CD release show for Grisly Amputation and Lycosa on Saturday 16 February 2013, at the Dead Horse Cantina and Music Hall (located at 704 Thompson Avenue, McKees Rocks, PA). Doors open at 7:30 and the music should be getting underway around 8 — in addition to the co-headliners, the line-up also includes progressive thrashers Storm King, brutal/tech-death band Victims of Contagion, death-grinders Torrential Bleeding, death-thrashcore band Lythem, and dirge/grim hardcore darlings Meth Quarry.
More information on this event can be found here: