Well folks, here we are, starting another new year. 2016 was quite an eventful one, both on a personal level (Valley of Steel headquarters has relocated within the past few months! — which is why we’ve been so quiet for a little while; we’ve been hella busy between finding a place to move to, moving there, getting settled in, etc. — although for those who may be worried: we’re still in a valley in a former industrial area outside Pittsburgh, so the website title is still accurate, it just happens to be the valley of a different river than our former location), as well as on a sociocultural level (politics, both domestic and foreign, has really been a mess lately, hasn’t it??).
Of course, like every year, tons of great music got released in 2016 as well — and like every year, I’ve failed to write about everything I’ve wanted to share with you folks (or even half of it). We’ll be diving back into the reviewing and sharing of new (and some fairly not-so-new) music very soon. But today, I’d like to hit a few other items as we briefly glance over the year that was…
One main recurring theme over the past year — recurring so much that it really turned into a running joke, albeit an unfunny one — has been death. From David Bowie and Alan Rickman to George Michael and Carrie Fisher, and far too many in between to mention them all, it just felt like an excessive number of well-known and well-loved people were taken from us.
Sticking closer to home, the Pittsburgh music scene was irreparably damaged back in October with the loss of guitarist/bassist Gene Fikhman (of Vulture, Grisly Amputation, and most recently Dreadeth, among others). We’ve covered some of these bands before (here and here, for example), and even published an interview with Gene himself once.
Friends and fans have been mourning in various ways over the past couple of months, of course, but now — TONIGHT, in fact — there’s an event for all to come together and celebrate the life of one gone far too soon.
Gene Fikhman‘s Memorial Show
at The Smiling Moose
1306 E Carson St, Pittsburgh PA (South Side)
featuring Dreadeth, No Reason to Live, Tartarus, and Slaves BC
plus tons of donated items, music-related or otherwise, to be raffled/auctioned
Doors 7:30, music 8:00 | $10 | 21+ only
All funds raised benefit the Fikhman family
More details: http://www.facebook.com/events/107974179692516/
Beyond that, I’ll leave you folks with a series of videos that have come out in the past several months — all from artists that we’ve written about in 2016, and all of which I hope you will enjoy!
Katatonia – “Shifts”
from The Fall of Hearts (reviewed here)
Amon Amarth – “Raise Your Horns”
from Jomsviking (reviewed here)
Click here to view!
Nathanaël Larochette – “Awaken”
from Earth and Sky (reviewed here)
High Fighter – “Darkest Days”
from Scars & Crosses (reviewed here)
Boss Keloid – “Axis of Green”
from Herb Your Enthusiasm (reviewed here)
Live at Blastfest (Bergen, NO)
19 February 2016
The band’s full set from this performance can be viewed for free by using the Tidal app (available with a free trial membership) here.
Most of the songs performed in the video come from releases that we reviewed here.
So don’t forget, if you live in or near Pittsburgh, head out to The Smiling Moose tonight! And regardless of where you live, I hope you have a wonderful 2017. Stay tuned for more music coming your way in just a few days…