Welcome to the Valley of Steel. Currently based in the Youghiogheny River valley just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), this website was founded in the fall of 2011 as an outlet for a personal journey into the world of music.

Primarily, that means the world of metal and other heavy music: the owner/operator of this site is an individual who grew up with the thrash of the late 1980s and the grunge/sludge metal of the early 90s, though that particular love affair hit a lengthy period of dormancy on account of a growing disillusionment with the mainstream metal styles that emerged throughout the mid-to-late 90s (nu-metal) and the decade-plus that followed (NWOAHM, metalcore, deathcore) — aside from a brief immersion into the universes of black metal, death metal, grindcore, and post-metal during the Napster era — until that passion was rekindled with a particular fervidity upon discovering that metal music blogs existed in the late 2000s.

Avidly reading sites like No Clean Singing, That’s How Kids Die, Angry Metal Guy, Heavy Blog is Heavy, and the now-defunct Death Metal Baboon, Number of the Blog, and That Devil Music (among others), I discovered so much amazing listening material that I never would have been aware of otherwise. Some independent personal research and exploration around the same time led me to discover how much more exists out there: limitless amounts, really.

As someone for whom music essentially permeates every aspect of everything I do, I have always had a deep appreciation for the artists whose creative works have had such profound effects on my life. I’ve also relished every opportunity to discover something new, because That Moment — where you come across a tiny spark that ends up igniting something deep within your and ultimately engulfs your entire self, those specific points in time that you can reflect upon later and remember exactly where you were and what you were doing and know that your life has been irreparably altered — That Moment is such an ultra-rare experience, but you never know where or when it might happen, and when it does happen, it makes sifting through an endless stream of mediocrity all worthwhile.

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Having said all that, this website was born as a means to share those experiences. Not everything written about here will be completely revelatory and life-altering, of course, but maybe to one person it will be. You never know. And maybe there’s one thing buried among the scribblings here that you will react to that way. There’s only one way to find out.

In an ideal world, there would be new posts published here every day, and every single thing I hear I would share with you. Naturally, a few logistical problems prevent this. Primarily, time: for example, I keep myself busy with a boring office job during the week. I am usually listening to music during this time (as well as during most other things I do), but it does not allow a ton of time for writing.

As such, I tend to have quite a backlog of subject matter I intend to eventually write about, at any given time. But again, since I am constantly seeking out new stuff, submissions are always welcomed. I have also published reviews and interviews by guest contributors, on occasion, and would be very glad to do so again, for anyone who felt inclined to share their writing with the world.

So: if you are a musician or record label or a PR person or company, and you would like to submit promotional materials for consideration to be written about here; if you are an aspiring or established writer with opinions to share but without a permanent home for those writings; or if you’re simply a fellow fan of music and would like to leave some sort of feedback… just head on over to the Contact page to get in touch. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Published: 01 September 2011
Last updated: 27 April 2021