Welcome to the Valley of Steel. Based in the Monongahela River valley (aka “Mon Valley”), approximately 30 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 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, as the site is owned and operated by a thirty-something-year-old who grew up with the thrash of the late 1980s and the grunge/sludge metal of the early 90s. Having grown disillusioned with the mainstream metal styles that emerged throughout the mid-to-late 90s (nu-metal) and the decade-plus that followed (NWOAHM, metalcore, deathcore), a brief immersion into the universe black metal, death metal, grindcore, and post-metal during the Napster years was followed by a lengthy period of dormancy — until discovering that metal music blogs existed.
Avidly reading No Clean Singing, That’s How Kids Die, Angry Metal Guy, Mead Meat Metal, Heavy Blog is Heavy, and the now-defunct Death Metal Baboon, Number of the Blog, and That Devil Music, 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 literally permeates every other 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 series 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: I keep myself busy with a boring office job during the week, and part of each weekend is spent in my basement woodshop producing blank signs for my wife to use in her own business. I am constantly listening to music during both of those pursuits (as well as most other things I do), but they do 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; if perhaps you are an advertiser whose target market may coincide with our readership and you wish to arrange something mutually beneficial to help defray some of the costs of running a website; 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.